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Wool market up; mixed week for Oddments
Oct '10
The Australian wool market finished 2.1% higher, on average, at sales in Sydney, Melbourne and Fremantle this week when the US exchange rate rose by a further 1.7% to 98.32¢ at the close on Thursday.

40,827 bales were on offer, compared with 40,861 bales last week. 5.1% were passed in, comprised of 4.6% in Sydney, 4.5% in Melbourne and 7.2% in Fremantle. Pass-in rates for Merino fleece and skirtings were 4.2% and 5.5%, respectively.

956 bales (2.3%) from the expected offering of 41,783 bales were withdrawn prior to sale and re-offered bales made up 10.0% of the final offering. 38,755 bales were cleared to the trade.

The New Zealand Merino Company also offered 3,352 bales in Melbourne on Tuesday, of which 10.5% were passed in.

The US exchange rate continued its sharp rise this week. The decision by the Reserve Bank to leave official interest rates unchanged led to a 0.81¢ fall in the closing rate on Tuesday. But, this was short-lived with rises totalling 2.46¢ over the next two days. Many experts now think parity with the US dollar is inevitable.

It was a very strong market, as reflected in the lowest pass-in rates of the season. This was particularly noticeable in the fleece wools in all centres. The EMI was again up in all currencies, including a 32¢ rise in US currency to 878¢. The increases in US over the last four sales have been 10¢, 19¢, 17¢ and 32¢. A very steep rise.

The increases occurred across all wool types and micron ranges, but were led by a 2% plus rise in the 19 to 22 micron wools.

Demand for skirting types was again very keen, with increases of up to 20 to 30¢ greasy. Crossbred types did well, with increases in all average AWEX MPGs. Oddments had a mixed week, with the average Merino Carding Price Guide the only Indicate to fall this week. This contrasts with last week's best performance for the season.

Buyers for China were again dominant followed by buyers for India and Europe. Buyers for Europe figured strongly at the New Zealand Merino sale on Tuesday.

Sales will be held in Sydney, Melbourne and Fremantle next week, when 40,715 bales are currently rostered for sale. Present estimates for the following two sales (Weeks 16 and 17) are 44,680 and 46,650 bales, respectively; a decrease of 0.7% over the three sale period when compared with last year. The New Zealand Merino Company is rostered to offer 3,000 bales in Week 16 and 1,200 bales in Week 17.

In South African sales, the Cape Wools Indicator was up by 1.2% since last week against a 1.1% appreciation of the Rand against the US Dollar and a 0.8% depreciation against the Euro. 8,005 bales were on offer.

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Australian Wool Industries Secretariat

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