Prices for crossbred wools eased
The AWEX Regional Indicators finished 0.9% lower, on average, at sales in Sydney, Melbourne and Fremantle this week when the US exchange rate rose by 1.3%.
The season average of 1067¢ for the AWEX EMI is now 200¢ (23.0%) above the average to the same time last year.
48,406 bales were on offer, compared with 47,905 bales last week. 11.5% were passed in, comprised of 7.4% in Sydney, 10.0% in Melbourne and 18.7% in Fremantle. The Pass-in rate doubled to 16.7% on Thursday when the Regional Market Indicators eased by 11 to 13¢. Pass-in rates for Merino fleece and skirtings were 10.7% and 15.6%, respectively. 42,830 bales were cleared to the trade.
The Australian dollar strengthened further this week, passing through 104¢ on Thursday and 105¢ on Friday. Financial commentators expect it to rise further, with some are tipping a figure of 110¢, or higher, by the end of the year, unless there is some unforseen global financial downturn. This week's rise was attributed to the generally favourable economic reports from Australia, in particular the news of strong employment and job creation data on Thursday.
The week started in a steady manner with the EMI up by 3¢ on Wednesday night, but eased on Thursday. As was the case last week, the appreciation of the US exchange rate led to an increase in the EMI in US terms (+10¢). The fine wools picked up nicely on Tuesday, but gave back the gains on Thursday. 20 to 22 micron wools were the best performers for the week.
The market in the East is being influenced by the quality of the offering, as the effects of the season and the amount of wet weather are contributing to greater amounts of colour, VM and cottedness. The average VM in AWTA's test results for March were 5.2% for Skirtings and 3.2% for Cardings, both 0.4% high than in March last year
The closing EMI is up by 344¢ (33.4%) since the start of January and by 493¢ (55.9%) since the start of the season. The EMI in US currency (1439¢) is up by 86.0% since the start of the season due to the 19.3% appreciation in the US exchange rate.
Demand for skirtings was generally good, with the better types in favour, but limited buyer interest in the poor quality lower lines present in the East. Prices for crossbred wools eased and were more affected than the Merino types. Nevertheless, these wools remain at high price levels. Oddments had a good week.
Buyers for China were dominant, with strong demand from buyers for Europe and India.
Sales will be held in Sydney, Melbourne and Fremantle next week, when 41,663 bales are currently rostered for sale. The present estimate for the following sale (Week 42) is 42,900 bales. Sales will be in recess for the Easter break in Week 43 and will resume in Week 44.
Sales are in recess in South Africa until 13 April.
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Australian Wool Industries Secretariat