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Wool market easier again this week
Apr '11
The AWEX Regional Indicators finished 1.5% lower, on average, at sales in Sydney, Melbourne and Fremantle this week when the US exchange rate rose by 0.7%. The fall was least in the West.

The season average of 1075¢ for the AWEX EMI is now 208¢ (23.9%) above the average to the same time last year.

In a smaller sale, 40,850 bales were on offer, compared with 48,406 bales last week. The pass-in rates were all up in a reaction to the drop in the market. Overall, 11.1% of the bales were passed in, comprised of 8.4% in Sydney, 8.9% in Melbourne and 17.8% in Fremantle. Pass-in rates for Merino fleece and skirtings were 11.2% and 11.3%, respectively. 36,302 bales were cleared to the trade.

The Australian dollar moved above 105¢ last Friday, but fell back into the 104¢ range on Tuesday when financial commentators described investors as going into a more "risk averse" mood. The rise on Thursday was attributed to a reversal of this mood due to result of factors such as President Obama's announcement of $4 trillion in spending cuts in the US.

The market was easier again this week, but remains at very high levels in both Australian and United States currencies. Much of the fall occurred on Wednesday, with prices steadying to a some extent on Thursday. Overall changes in the average AWEX Micron Price Guides were similar across the micron ranges apart from the 24 micron wools which were badly affected by a 38¢ fall in the South on Thursday.

As reported in recent weeks, the quality of the offering in the East is showing the effects of the large amounts of rain, with increased quantities of cotted, discoloured, high VM and tender wools.

The closing EMI is up by 321¢ (31.1%) since the start of January and by 470¢ (53.3%) since the start of the season. The EMI in US currency (1424¢) is up by 84.1% since the start of the season. The US exchange rate has appreciated by 20.1% in that period.

Prices for skirtings came off sharply on Wednesday, particularly among the lower style wools with high levels of VM. Prices generally eased further on Thursday, with the poorer types once again the most affected. Crossbred prices also eased with the greatest falls occurring at 28 and 30 microns. Oddments were a bit mixed, but were generally down.

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 (Week 42) in the last sale before the Easter break. 50,297 bales are currently rostered for sale. Sales will resume in Week 44 when it is currently estimated that approximately 48,400 bales will be on offer.

In South African sales, the Cape Wools Indicator was down by 1.0% since last week against a 0.5% appreciation of the Rand against the US Dollar and a 2.3% depreciation against the Euro. 10,646 bales were on offer. Sales are now in recess until 3 May.

The Cape Wools Indicator is up by 47.8% in South African currency since the start of the season and by 59.5% in US currency.

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Australian Wool Industries Secretariat

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