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Wool market soars; good price gains in Oddments
Jan '11
The AWEX Regional Indicators finished 12.0% higher, on average, when sales resumed in Sydney, Melbourne and Fremantle this week. The sale-on-sale price indicator graphs are almost vertical. The US exchange rate rose by 0.8%.

49,224 bales were on offer, compared with 46,994 bales at the last sale. 3.1% were passed in, comprised of 2.7% in Sydney, 2.7% in Melbourne and 4.5% in Fremantle. Pass-in rates for Merino fleece and skirtings were 2.3% and 1.6%, respectively.

The RBA daily closing rate for US currency varied between 98.5¢ and 101.6¢ over the break in sales, but has been in the lower end of that range in recent days. This has been attributed to the disastrous floods in Queensland. Financial commentators believe that the US exchange rate will move up once the floods start to recede and there are better estimates o the recovery costs.

The market followed on from the strong close prior to Christmas to record one of the largest ever sale-to-sale increases. Gains were achieved across all wool types and micron ranges, with the greatest gains once again at the fine end of the market where AWEX MPGs rose by over 200¢. The 16.5 micron MPG rose by 203¢ in the North on Wednesday.

The lift of 11.7% (121¢) in the EMI is the largest sale-to-sale since September 2002 when the EMI rose by 16.5% (162¢) after the disposal of the stockpile was completed. The 7.7% (81¢) lift in the EMI on Wednesday was one of the highest over the last ten years. In US terms, the EMI continues to set "highest ever" levels this season. At 1146¢, it is 12.7% above the previous sale and is some 200¢ above the previous highest value prior to this season recorded 20 years ago.

Skirting types were also in very strong demand with price rises for these wools following those for fleece wools. Rises exceeded 100¢ greasy at the fine end. It was a good market for crossbred types also, albeit the rises were more subdued. Oddments experienced good price gains during the week, but also were not as spectacular as those for Merino fleece and skirting types.

Although buyers for China were again dominant, there was strong support from buyers for Europe and for India, Taiwan and Korea. As mentioned previously, the stronger presence of buyers for Italy has contributed to the gains at the fine end; and concerns about supply, which is currently forecast to be 2.3% less than 2009/10 remains a key factor.

Sales will be held in Sydney, Melbourne and Fremantle next week, when 56,851 bales are currently rostered for sale. Present estimates for the following two sales (Weeks 30 and 31) are 46,100 and 43,700 bales, respectively; a decrease of 1.3% over the three sale period when compared with last year.

In South African sales on Wednesday, the Cape Wools Indicator was up by 11.8% since the last sale on 8 December against a 1.7% appreciation of the Rand against the US Dollar and a 3.3% appreciation against the Euro. 14,189 bales were on offer.

Click here to view the tables

Australian Wool Industries Secretariat Inc

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