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Another spectacular week for crossbred wools
Mar '11
The wool market continued its steep rise this week when the AWEX Regional Indicators finished 3.1% higher, on average, at sales in Sydney, Melbourne and Fremantle. The US exchange rate fell by 1%.

The season average of 1026¢ for the AWEX Eastern Market Indicator is now 155¢ (19.2%) above the average to the same time last season.

26,384 bales were on offer, compared with 44,733 bales last week. 3.1% were passed in, comprised of 3.0% in Sydney, 2.9% in Melbourne and 3.7% in Fremantle. Pass-in rates for Merino fleece and skirtings were 2.2% and 5.4%, respectively. 25,579 bales were cleared to the trade.

The New Zealand Merino Company also offered 689 bales in Melbourne on Tuesday of which 16.3% were passed in.

The US exchange rate eased during the week. Financial commentators attributed this to weaker consumer sentiment earlier in the week, followed by a steadying due to good employment data on Thursday.

It was another particularly strong market, especially for the 20 to 24 micron ranges. Gains for the finer wools, although smaller, were still significant and were very good coming off last week's Newcastle sale.

The market opened strongly across all wool types on Tuesday and continued in that vein on Wednesday and Thursday. The closing average AWEX EMIs range from 2599¢ at 16.5 microns to 1928¢ at 18.5 microns, 1314¢ at 20 microns and 1073¢ at 24 microns. All very good prices.

The closing EMI is up by 317¢ (30.7%) since the start of January and by 466¢ (52.8%) since the start of the season. The EMI in US currency (1355¢) is up by 75.2% since the start of the season.

Demand for skirtings was very strong with sharp price rises across most types other than those carrying faulty jowls and cotted or coloured wool in the South. Oddments also did well with a 5% increase in the average AWEX Merino Cardings Price Guide, taking it to 803¢.

It was another spectacular week for crossbred wools with very sharp price rises for the third week in a row, particularly from 28 microns up where the 28, 30 and 32 average MPGs have risen by 23.2%, 27.9% and 35.3%, respectively under pressure from China.

Buyers for China were dominant, with strong demand from buyers for Europe, India and Taiwan.

Sales will be held in Sydney, Melbourne and Fremantle next week, when 44,960 bales are currently rostered for sale. Present estimates for the following two sales (Weeks 38 and 39) are 43,800 and 41,500 bales, respectively; an increase of 7.4% over the three sale period when compared with last year.

Growers are continuing to offer wool that had been held on-farm, or in brokers stores, to take advantage of the current market. The low re-offer rates seen this year (0.9% this week) reflect low pass-in rates and that much of the wool previously held in brokers stores has already been brought forward for sale.

South African sales resumed this week following the cancellation of last week's sale after the identification of Foot & Mouth Disease in North Eastern part of the country. The Cape Wools Indicator was down by 4.6% since the last sale against a 3.1% appreciation of the Rand against the US Dollar and a 2.0% appreciation against the Euro. 10,520 bales were on offer. This is still below the change in the Australian market, after allowing for the appreciation of the Rand.

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Australian Wool Industries Secretariat

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