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Pass-in rates lift sharply
Jan '11
The AWEX Regional Indicators finished a further 2.1% higher, on average, at sales in Sydney, Melbourne and Fremantle this week despite a sharp correction on Thursday. The US exchange rate rose by 0.2%.

59,624 bales were on offer, compared with 49,224 bales last week. 10.7% were passed in, comprised of 6.6% in Sydney, 5.9% in Melbourne and 24.4% in Fremantle. Pass-in rates for Merino fleece and skirtings were 16.2% and 3.5%.

Pass-in rates lifted sharply from 1.1% on Tuesday and 2.2% on Wednesday to 20.9% on Thursday. Most of this increase was due to a 43.8% pass-in rate in Fremantle. Much of the wool was passed-in at very good prices, as is often the case in markets like the current one.

The US exchange rate lifted above 100¢ again on Wednesday, which financial commentators attributed to an increasing confidence in the global economy. However, it fell back to the upper 99¢ range on Thursday.

The market opened in the same manner to last week, when the Southern Region Indicator rose by 70¢ on Tuesday and the EMI was up by 90¢ on Wednesday to record levels. Rises occurred across all micron ranges and Merino wool types.

The greatest gains were once again at the fine end and the EMI moved to its highest level since the boom years of the late 1980's. The market eased its rapid rush in South Africa on Wednesday and then in Australia on Thursday when the EMI fell by 51¢. The trade reports that competition remained strong although the market had fallen.

Logic and history indicate that the market could not continue its rate of rise without some check. Nevertheless, Thursday's easing still left the closing EMI 2¢ above the 2002/03 peak of 1189¢ (when the US exchange rate was 57.73¢). The 16.5 to 19.0, 20.0 and 24.0 MPGs are all above last week's closing levels while other Merino MPGs are down slightly.

Merino skirting types followed the fleece types up on Tuesday and Wednesday and down on Thursday. Crossbreds were in strong demand also on Tuesday and Wednesday and were less affected than Merino wools on Thursday. Oddments also experienced the early week gains followed by an easing of around half a percent on Thursday.

Buyers for China were again dominant, with continued good support from buyers for Europe (particularly on the first two days) and India.

Sales will be held in Sydney, Melbourne and Fremantle next week, when 54,132 bales are currently rostered for sale. Present estimates for the following two sales (Weeks 31 and 32) are 41,500 and 46,600 bales, respectively; a decrease of 6.1% over the three sale period when compared with last year.

In South African sales, the Cape Wools Indicator was up by 8.5% since last week against a 1.0% depreciation of the Rand against the US Dollar and a 4.5% depreciation against the Euro. 13,614 bales were on offer.

Click here to view the tables

Australian Wool Industries Secretariat

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