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Sharp lift in prices for better types wool
May '11
The AWEX Regional Indicators finished 2.0% higher, on average, at sales in Sydney, Melbourne and Fremantle this week when the US exchange rate fell by 0.3%.

The greater rise in the Western Market Indicator on Wednesday included a catch-up component for last Thursday, when there was no sale in the West and the EMI rose by 28¢.

The EMI and the three Regional Indicators are all at their highest levels for the season in both Australian and US currency.

The season average for the AWEX EMI (1108¢) is 239¢ (27.5%) above the average to the same time last year.

32,207 bales were on offer, compared with 38,931 bales last week. 8.6% were passed in, comprised of 7.7% in Sydney, 6.9% in Melbourne and 15.8% in Fremantle. Pass-in rates for Merino fleece and skirtings were 7.1% and 9.8%, respectively.

29,441 bales were cleared to the trade.

There was an increase in the re-offer rate of previously passed-in wools in both this week and last week. This was most noticeable among the skirtings which have had high pass-in rates in recent weeks.

The US exchange rate experienced another volatile week, after displaying relative calm last week. The early week falls were mainly attributed to uncertainty arising from concerns about European sovereign debt, while Thursday's sharp rise was attributed to higher than expected Australian capital expenditure data in the March quarter, particularly in the resources industries.

It was another good market, with the AWEX EMI and Regional Indicators at their highest levels for the season. Competition in the sale rooms was strong, with some very good prices paid for the better wools. Demand was greatest in the 19.0 to 22.0 micron ranges, as it was last week and on a number of occasions in recent weeks. This was in spite of a small offering of wools less than 18.5 microns. The trade reports that there are some "new" season wools coming onto the market in the South, which are better in style, but have high levels of VM.

The increases in the average AWEX MPGs since January are now greatest from 19.5 to 23 microns, although they lag behind the fine wools in the changes since the start of the season.

The EMI in US currency (1469¢) has risen by 89.9% since July compared with a 56.9% increase in Australian currency.

It was good week for the skirtings, with strong demand, a sharp lift in prices for the better types and a better overall clearance rate to the trade. The pass-in rate was 9.8% compared with an average of 17.8% in the four previous sales. It was a very good week for crossbreds with increases of 3 to 4% in their average AWEX MPGs. Oddments did less well than other types and generally moved down during the week. The average Merino Cardings Price Guide was down by another 2.3%, but still remains at a very good level.

Buyers for China were dominant with other buying support from Europe and Taiwan in particular, India and Korea.

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