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Low pass-in rates across all micron ranges & wool types
Nov '10
The AWEX Regional Indicators finished 0.3% lower, on average, at sales in Sydney, Melbourne and Fremantle this week when the US exchange rate fell by 2%.

This was the largest sale of the season as growers released wool to take advantage of the current good prices.

57,711 bales were on offer, compared with 52,290 bales last week. 12.4% were passed in, comprised of 7.7% in Sydney, 11.5% in Melbourne and 19.9% in Fremantle. Pass-in rates for Merino fleece and skirtings were 16.3% and 5.1%.

911 bales (1.6%) from the expected offering of 58,622 bales were withdrawn prior to sale and re-offered bales made up 6.2% of the final offering. 50,568 bales were cleared to the trade.

The New Zealand Merino Company also offered 3,143 bales in Melbourne on Tuesday of which 5.9% were passed in.

The US exchange rate fell during the week, which financial commentators attribute to greater demand for US currency and indications from the Reserve Bank that rises in Australian interest rates are "on hold" for the time being.

It was another very strong market at the fine end with large price rises in all currencies and low pass-in rates across all micron ranges and wool types. But, there were falls in price and relatively high pass-in rates (particularly among fleece types) from 19.5 to 23 microns, where there was a greater supply of wool in this relatively large sale.

There is little doubt that some wool was passed in at prices which would have been very acceptable only two weeks ago.

Among the fine wools, the average AWEX MPGs for 16.5 to 18.0 microns have risen by around 500¢ (+40%) since the start of the season.

The better season in Eastern Australia has resulted in a "broadening" of the clip, with the volume of wool less than 18.6 microns tested by AWTA down by 21.9% to the end of October, compared with a fall of 7.2% for all wool tested.

Skirting types were again in strong demand, particularly for the finer types with lower levels of Vegetable Matter. Greasy prices for these types were up by around 40 to 50¢ for the week. Crossbred types were relatively unchanged, or up by around 0.7%. Oddments generally moved upwards during the week, with the AWEX Merino Carding Price Guide up by almost 2%.

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

Sales will be held in Newcastle, Melbourne and Fremantle next week, when 54,240 bales are currently rostered for sale. Present estimates for the following two sales (Weeks 22 and 23) are 47,750 and 49,200 bales, respectively; an increase of 10.2% over the three sale period when compared with last year. The New Zealand Merino Company is rostered to offer 1,000 bales in Week 23.

In South African sales, the Cape Wools Indicator was down by 2.0% since last week against a 2.8% depreciation of the Rand against the US Dollar and a 0.6% depreciation against the Euro. 11,713 bales were on offer.

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Australian Wool Industries Secretariat

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