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Wool market finishes 0.7% higher
Dec '10
The AWEX Regional Indicators finished 0.7% higher, on average, at sales in Sydney, Melbourne and Fremantle this week in a sale that began with falling prices, but finished strongly. The US exchange rate fell by 1.5%.

57,625 bales were on offer, compared with 53,932 bales last week. 12.3% were passed in, comprised of 10.2% in Sydney, 12.9% in Melbourne and 14.2% in Fremantle. Pass-in rates for Merino fleece and skirtings were 14.0% and 10.8%, respectively. The pass-in rate fell from 18.4% on Tuesday to 8.4% on Thursday as the market changed during the week.

3,280 bales (5.4%) were withdrawn prior to sale and re-offered bales made up 7.9% of the final offering.

The US exchange rate continued to fluctuate this week as a consequence of international events and the lower than expected July to September Gross Domestic Product (GDP) data in Australia.

This week's sale got away to a soft start on Tuesday, when the AWEX EMI fell by 18¢ on top of the 20¢ fall on the previous Thursday. The greatest falls were from 18 to 23 Microns. Wednesday's sale saw a firm close to the market after a cautious start. This was followed by strong demand on Thursday when Tuesday's losses were reversed and good gains were achieved from 20 to 22 microns. The gains on Thursday put the EMI back over 1000¢ after falling to 993¢ on Tuesday.

Cotton prices recovered from a two week fall this week, with the New York Board of Trade closing price moving up by 26¢ to 142¢ per pound (US).

Skirting types eased on Tuesday and were generally unchanged on Wednesday, in line with fleece types. Thursday's sale saw rises in most types as the market improved. Crossbreds eased at the start of the sale, but recovered sufficiently on Thursday for prices to finish relatively unchanged. Oddments also followed other wool types, easing slightly on Tuesday, holding firm on Wednesday and moving up slightly on Thursday. The average AWEX Merino Cardings Price Guide was unchanged for the week.

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

Sales will be held in Sydney, Melbourne and Fremantle next week, when 58,315 bales are currently rostered for sale. The present estimate for the following sale (Week 24) is 51,550 bales; an increase of 17.9% over the two sale period when compared with last year. The New Zealand Merino Company is rostered to offer 1,850 bales in Melbourne next week. This will be the second last sale prior to the Christmas break.

In South African sales, the Cape Wools Indicator was down by 6.8% on Wednesday (and prior to Thursday's price gains in Australia). The Rand appreciated by 0.3% against the US Dollar and by 2.8% against the Euro.

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Australian Wool Industries Secretariat

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