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Good week for fine wools
Nov '10
The AWEX Regional Indicators finished 3.7% higher, on average, at sales in Sydney, Melbourne and Fremantle this week when the US exchange rate fell by 0.1%.

As reported last week, the market is operating independently of the US exchange rate.

52,290 bales were on offer, compared with 51,522 bales last week. 3.8% were passed in, comprised of 2.3% in Sydney, 3.3% in Melbourne and 6.5% in Fremantle. Pass-in rates for Merino fleece and skirtings were 2.2% and 2.9%, respectively.

818 bales (1.5%) from the expected offering of 53,108 bales were withdrawn prior to sale and re-offered bales made up 6.2% of the final offering. 50,288 bales were cleared to the trade.

The US exchange rate firmed early in the week, but eased on Wednesday following the announcement of tighter borrowing conditions in China.

It was another very strong market with large price rises in all currencies and low pass-in rates across all micron ranges and wool types on both Wednesday and Thursday. The fine wools again led the market with rises of around 3.5 to 5%, but the differences in the rises between the fine wools and wools of 20 microns and broader was less this week. Only 24 micron wool has missed out on large gains this season.

The EMI is above 1000¢ in both Australian and US currencies. It has moved up by 18% in $A and by 34% in $US since the end of August.

Cotton prices have also continued their upward price movement, with the New York Board of Trade quoting a closing price of 140U¢ per pound after peaking at 157¢ earlier in the week. The closing price was 110¢ 4 weeks ago and 98¢ 8 weeks ago.

Perhaps the biggest feature of an already good week was the demand for skirtings, which led to increases of up to 60¢ greasy in the North and the South (and even greater in the West) on Wednesday; and to further large rises on Thursday. Crossbred types continued their good run, with increases in their average AWEX MPGs of 2 to 4%. Oddments started strongly on Wednesday with the average Northern and Southern AWEX Merino Cardings Micron Price Guide up by 22¢. But, an easing in demand on Thursday resulted in a more modest overall rise for the week.

Buyers for China were again dominant followed by buyers for Europe and India.

Sales will be held in Sydney, Melbourne and Fremantle next week, when 61,539 bales are currently rostered for sale. Present estimates for the following two sales (Weeks 21 and 22) are 48,200 and 46,500 bales, respectively; an increase of 14.1% over the three sale period when compared with last year. The New Zealand Merino Company is rostered to offer 3,450 bales in Melbourne next week. The offering is the largest for the season as growers respond to the good market.

In South African sales, the Cape Wools Indicator was up by 5.6% since last week against a 0.4% appreciation of the Rand against the US Dollar and a 2.1% appreciation against the Euro. 9,306 bales were on offer.

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Australian Wool Industries Secretariat

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