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A very good week for crossbreds
Feb '11
The AWEX Regional Indicators finished 2.1% higher, on average, at sales in Sydney, Melbourne and Fremantle this week when the US exchange rate rose by 0.4%.

48,941 bales were on offer, compared with 46,622 bales last week (when only 212 sold). 5.4% were passed in, comprised of 4.8% in Sydney, 4.9% in Melbourne and 7.4% in Fremantle. Pass-in rates for Merino fleece and skirtings were 5.1% and 7.7%, respectively. 46,282 bales were cleared to the trade.

The New Zealand Merino Company was due to offer 689 bales on Wednesday, but the sale was cancelled following the tragic earthquake on Tuesday. The Christchurch and Napier sales were also cancelled.

The US exchange rate had a mixed week, with the early week rise being attributed to strong commodity prices. The subsequent fall was attributed to concerns over the possible effects of the Libyan issues on oil prices, while the recovery on Thursday was said to be due to strong local investment data from the private sector.

It was another good week for wool prices. A strong start to the week in Melbourne saw the AWEX Southern Market Indicator move up by 30¢ on Tuesday and the 16.5 to 19.5 Micron Price Guides move up by around 40¢, on average. Further gains were made on Wednesday. The overall market was down slightly on Thursday, partly due to a lesser quality offering in the East. Nevertheless, the EMI moved up by 8¢ on the day due to a rise in the US exchange rate.

The closing EMI is up by 255¢ (24.7%) since the start of January and by 404¢ (45.8%) since the start of the season. The increase in the EMI since the start of the season is 67.2% in US currency.

The opening demand for Merino skirting types was very strong, with good price rises across all types. This was continued on Wednesday, but prices eased in the South on Thursday in response to the quality of the offering. Thursday's prices were quoted as unchanged in the North and irregular in the West. It was a very good week for crossbreds, perhaps partly due to the cancellation of the New Zealand sales. It was also good week for oddments, with the average AWEX Merino Cardings Price Guide up by 2.9%.

Buyers for China were dominant, with strong demand from buyers for Europe, India and Korea maintaining the momentum in the market.

Sales will be held in Newcastle, Melbourne and Fremantle next week, (Week 35) when 44,852 bales are currently rostered for sale. Present estimates for the following two sales (Weeks 35 and 36) are 45,160 and 40,200 bales, respectively; an increase of 10.2% over the three sale period when compared with last year.

In South African sales, the Cape Wools Indicator was up by 2.8% since last week against a 1.1% appreciation of the Rand against the US Dollar and a 0.5% appreciation against the Euro. 10,787 bales were on offer.

The Cape Wools Indicator is up by 44.7% (49.9% in US currency) since the start of the season.

Click view the tables.

Australian Wool Industries Secretariat

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