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AWEX Regional Indicators up
Dec '10
The AWEX Regional Indicators finished 2.4% higher, on average, at sales in Sydney, Melbourne and Fremantle this week to provide a positive close to the market going into the three week Christmas break. The US exchange rate was 0.1% lower than the previous Thursday.

46,994 bales were on offer, compared with 53,131 bales last week. 8.3% were passed in, comprised of 7.7% in Sydney, 7.2% in Melbourne and 12.7% in Fremantle. Pass-in rates for Merino fleece and skirtings were 7.0% and 7.7%, respectively.

1,789 bales (3.7%) from the expected offering of 48,783 bales were withdrawn prior to sale and re-offered bales made up 8.9% of the final offering.

The US exchange rate was virtually unchanged on a week-to-week basis, but fluctuated widely during the week, as finance markets reacted to differing global financial news.

The market finished the first half of the season on a strong note, with the EMI up by 16¢ on Thursday and by 24¢ for the week. It was also up in other currencies. The EMI is 149¢ (34%) above its value at the start of the season and is 1¢ below its highest level for the season. The average EMI for the season at 931¢, is 94¢ above the average for the first five months of last year and is 59¢ above the average for all of last season.

In US terms, the EMI is at its second highest level for the season and is 244¢ (63%) above the opening value of the season.

Looking at the market over the first half of the season, the outstanding feature has been the gains at the fine end of the market where most average AWEX MPGs are up by 30 to 40%. This has been mainly driven by the lift in buying activity from Italy (and other parts of Europe). Italy took 5.3% of Australia's wool exports in the first four months of the season compared with 2.8% in season 2009/10. Exports to the Czech Republic rose from 3.7% to 4.3% and exports to India (Australia's second largest export destination) rose from 7.8% to 9.7%.

Skirting types were in very strong demand on Wednesday and Thursday after a mixed start on Tuesday. Some increases in price matched those for fleece wool. Demand for crossbreds was subdued on Tuesday and Wednesday, before lifting on Thursday. However, the gains on Thursday were not enough to cancel out the earlier falls. Oddments experienced a mixed week with both gains and losses over the sale period. The average AWEX Merino Cardings Price Guide was down by 2%.

Buyers for China were again dominant followed by buyers for Europe, in particular, and India and Taiwan.

Sales are now in recess until the week commencing 10 January next year. Quantity estimates are not yet available for that sale.

Sales are in recess in South Africa until 12 January.

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Australian Wool Industries Secretariat

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