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Good week for oddments
Apr '11
The AWEX Regional Indicators finished 0.1% higher, on average, at sales in Sydney, Melbourne and Fremantle this week when the US exchange rate rose by 2%.

The season average of 1058¢ for the AWEX EMI is now 191¢ (22.1%) above the average to the same time last year.

47,905 bales were on offer, compared with 47,342 bales last week. 8.3% were passed in, comprised of 7.0% in Sydney, 5.9% in Melbourne and 13.2% in Fremantle. Pass-in rates for Merino fleece and skirtings were 8.6% and 9.9%, respectively. 43,919 bales were cleared to the trade.

The US exchange rate continued its climb, moving above 103¢ for the first time since passing 100¢ in October last year. The closing rate on Thursday evening was 17.8% above that at the beginning of the season. Financial commentators attribute the ongoing rise to improving global confidence since the Japanese earthquake and tsunami, rising commodity prices and greater in investment the Australian currency.

It was a steadier market this week with a 4¢ lift in the AWEX EMI following the 9¢ fall last Thursday. But, when looked at in US currency, the 4¢ translates into a 32¢ increase. Overall buying activity was firm, but not as strong as in previous weeks, with the greatest gains around 20 microns. The market finished with small increases in the Eastern Market Indicators on Thursday and a 9¢ easing in the West.

The closing EMI is up by 352¢ (34.1%) since the start of January and by 501¢ (56.8%) since the start of the season. The EMI in US currency (1429¢) is up by 84.7% since the start of the season due to a 17.8% appreciation in the US exchange.

Demand for skirtings was good, with the price movements varying between the three selling centres. As reported over the last three weeks, buyers are showing limited interest in the coloured / cotted / seedy types and jowls present in the East.

However, as also reported previously, seller reserve prices appear to be high as there were unusually high pass-in rates among the skirting types for the third week in a row. Crossbred wools showed little change apart from a fall of 13¢ in the 32 micron average AWEX MPG. It was a good week for oddments with strong demand for most types and the average AWEX Merino Cardings Price Guide up by 1.0%.

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

Sales will be held in Sydney, Melbourne and Fremantle next week, when 49,050 bales are currently rostered for sale. Present estimates for the following two sales (Weeks 41 and 42) are 40,317 and 42,700 bales, respectively; a decrease of 6.0% over the three sale period when compared with sales in the comparative weeks last year.

The fall in the offerings over the three week sale period is the first for some time as growers have been releasing wool from storage and / or brought shearing forward to take advantage of the excellent market. However, the year-on-year difference of -6% needs to be kept in perspective as the sale in Week 42 last year was a relatively large one following the Easter break.

In South African sales, the Cape Wools Indicator was up by 0.8% since last week against a 1.8% appreciation of the Rand against the US Dollar and a 2.4% appreciation against the Euro. 10,646 bales were on offer.

The Cape Wools Indicator is up by 49.3% in South African currency since the start of the season and by 58.7% in US currency.

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Australian Wool Industries Secretariat

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