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Downward movement in prices for fine fleece types
Jun '11
The AWEX Regional Indicators finished 1.0% higher, on average, at sales in Sydney, Melbourne and Fremantle this week when the US exchange rate rose by 0.1%.

The price rises continue takes the AWEX EMI and the three Regional Indicators to new highest levels for the season in both Australian and US currency.

The season average for the AWEX EMI (1115¢) is 246¢ (28.3%) above the average to the same time last year.

34,163 bales were on offer, compared with 32,207 bales last week. 9.7% were passed in, comprised of 7.7% in Sydney, 9.9% in Melbourne and 13.0% in Fremantle. Pass-in rates for Merino fleece and skirtings were 9.3% and 12.6%, respectively.

30,858 bales were cleared to the trade.

The higher re-offer rate of previously passed-in wools continued this week, when the offerings included 9.3% of re-offered Merino fleece wool and 12.6% of re-offered Merino skirtings. These figures reflect the higher pass-in rates prior to, and just after, Easter when the market eased and then started the recovery to its present levels.

The US exchange rate climbed steadily from the last sale to Wednesday. This was despite the release of the March Quarter GDP data on Wednesday which showed that the devastating floods in January led to a fall of 1.2% in the economy. The fall of 1.27¢ in the exchange rate on Thursday was attributed to a fall in global confidence due to a slowing in manufacturing in the US, UK, Europe and China that lead to the now familiar transfer of funds to the "safe havens" of the US Dollar and the Swiss Franc.

It was a good week for the skirtings, with strong demand and very good prices for the better types with low VM levels on both days. There was very good demand at the fine end in the South on Thursday, in contrast to the downward movement in prices for fine fleece types. Crossbreds finished slightly down for the week after easing on Wednesday and steadying on Thursday. The trade reports that some well grown 36 to 38 micron crossbred wool attracted keen competition and very good prices in the South on Thursday.

It was a better week for oddments after the falls of recent weeks. There were price gains across all types and the average Merino Cardings Price Guide was up by 1.5%.

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

Sales will be held in Sydney and Melbourne next week, when 21,916 bales are currently rostered for sale. Present estimates for the following two sales (Weeks 50 and 51) are 31,040 and 24,100 bales (Sydney and Melbourne only), respectively; a decrease of 16.9% over the three sale period when compared with last year.

Sales are in recess in South Africa until next week.

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Australian Wool Industries Secretariat

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