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Wool market finishes 3% higher
Nov '10
The Australian wool market finished 3.0% higher, on average, at sales in Newcastle, Melbourne and Fremantle this week with the AWEX Micron Price Guides for Superfine wools up by 5 to 7%. The US exchange rate fell by 0.7%.

50,028 bales were on offer, compared with 44,604 bales last week. 4.7% were passed in, comprised of 1.4% in Newcastle, 4.5% in Melbourne and 9.7% in Fremantle. Pass-in rates for Merino fleece and skirtings were 3.5% and 5.9%, respectively.

794 bales (1.6%) from the expected offering of 50,822 bales were withdrawn prior to sale and re-offered bales made up 5.2% of the final offering. 47,659 bales were cleared to the trade.

The New Zealand Merino Company also offered 2,236 bales in Melbourne on Tuesday of which 9.6% were passed in.

The US exchange rate rose back above 99¢ early in the week on the expectation of higher inflation data and of that leading to the RBA increasing interest rates on Tuesday. However, the exchange rate fell back into the 97¢ range when a lower than expected inflation rate dampened expectations of an interest rate rise.

It was another week of strong demand, price rises in all currencies and low pass-in rates. Only 194 bales (1.4%) were passed in in Newcastle where the overall prices were very good. The very high prices for speciality lots are not yet being paid, with the highest price paid being 8,500¢ greasy for a lot of 12.1 micron wool. The demand for fine wools was also seen in the South and the West, resulting in rises of 5 to 7% in the average AWEX MPGs from 16.5 to 19.0 microns. Gains in the average AWEX MPGs tapered off from 20 microns up.

The closing EMI has risen by 42¢ in Australian currency in the last two weeks.

Demand for skirtings followed the fleece types with keen demand and good prices at the fine end, but easing at the medium and broad end. Crossbreds were also in very good demand with rises of 3 to 4% in their average AWEX MPGs and trade reports of increases of up to 40¢ greasy for good styled very coarse types. Oddments were more mixed, with fine lox opening in strong demand in Newcastle. Overall demand remained firm on Wednesday, but eased slightly on Thursday.

Buyers for China were again dominant followed by buyers for Europe and India, with buyers for Italy very strong in Newcastle.

Sales will be held in Sydney, Melbourne and Fremantle next week, when 51,471 bales are currently rostered for sale. Present estimates for the following two sales (Weeks 19 and 20) are 45,340 and 48,045 bales, respectively; an increase of 1.9% over the three sale period when compared with last year. The New Zealand Merino Company is rostered to offer 3,000 bales in Week 20.

In South African sales, the Cape Wools Indicator was down by 0.8% since last week against a 0.8% depreciation of the Rand against the US Dollar and a 0.8% depreciation against the Euro. 8,538 bales were on offer.

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Australian Wool Industries Secretariat

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