Fine crossbreds slightly up
The AWEX Regional Indicators finished 1.6% higher, on average, at sales in Sydney and Melbourne this week when the US exchange rate fell by 0.4%.
It was necessary to extend the Y axis on the price graphs this week as the AWEX EMI broke 1400¢ in Australian currency and 1500¢ in US currency for the first time on Wednesday and remained above those marks at the close of selling on Thursday.
The season average for the AWEX EMI (1123¢) is 253¢ (28.8%) above the average to the same time last year.
22,821 bales were on offer, in the smallest sale of the season, compared with 34,163 bales last week (when all three regions sold). 7.6% of the offering were passed in, comprised of 9.0% in Sydney and 6.7% in Melbourne. Pass-in rates for Merino fleece and skirtings were 7.2% and 11.6%, respectively.
21,092 bales were cleared to the trade.
The US exchange rate was up on Monday. It then fell steadily during the week following the Reserve Bank's decision to leave the cash rate unchanged on Tuesday (as expected), and the bank indicated a likely cautious approach to interest rises in the coming months. The sharp fall on Thursday was attributed to weaker than expected employment data for May.
The market started very strongly when sales commended on Wednesday, with the EMI finishing up by 18¢ and very keen demand in the 19.5 to 23 micron range in the North and the 18.5 to 23 micron range in the South. The gains were greatest from 20 to 23 microns, where the average increase in the MPGs was around 40¢. There were further gains from 19.5 to 21 microns on Thursday, while the finer wools eased. Trade reports indicate that some of the finer offering was made up of shorter wools and some weaner wool.
The 19.5 to 23 micron average MPGs are up by 45 to 50% since January.
The EMI in US currency (1503¢) has risen by 94.3% since July compared with a 61.0% increase in Australian currency.
The lower VM skirtings opened on a firm basis, following last week's significant increases and remained firm on Thursday. Heavier VM types lost ground. The cotted and coloured wools, which are present in greater numbers this season, continue to be discounted.
Medium and coarse crossbreds were relatively unchanged during the week, while fine crossbreds were slightly up. Oddments were again strong, picking up on last week's gains. The average Merino Cardings Price Guide was up by 3.3% this week and by 7.6% over the last two sales. Some longer stains brought very good prices.
Buyers for China were dominant with good buying support from Europe, Taiwan, India and Korea.
Sales will be held in Sydney, Melbourne and Fremantle next week, when 27,206 bales are currently rostered for sale. Present estimates for the following two sales (Weeks 51 and 52) are 22,060 (Sydney and Melbourne only) and 30,300 bales, respectively; a decrease of 5.4% over the three sale period when compared withlast year.
In the last South African sale until 17 August, the Cape Wools Indicator was up by 1.8% since last sale against a 4.2% appreciation of the Rand against the US Dollar and a 0.1% appreciation against the Euro. 13,706 bales were on offer.
The Cape Wools Indicator rose by 68.4% in Rand and by 81.7% in US currency during the South African season.
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Australian Wool Industries Secretariat