Wool market finishes 2.3% higher

November 24, 2008 - Australia

The Australian wool market finished 2.3% higher, on average, at sales in Sydney, Melbourne and Fremantle this week.

The AWEX EMI rose by 22¢ (+2.9%), ending the week at 788¢/kg. This reflected rises of 25¢ (+3.1%) in the North and 20¢ (+2.7%) in the South, with their corresponding Regional Indicators finishing the week at 819¢ and 763¢ clean, respectively.

The Western Indicator rose by 8¢ (+1.1%), finishing the week at 754¢.

In a three day sale in Melbourne (when only New Zealand wool was sold on Tuesday) and a two day sale in Sydney, the AWEX EMI rose by 17¢ on Wednesday and by 5¢ on Thursday. The Western Indicator rose by 8¢ on Wednesday in a one day sale in Fremantle. Note, the AWEX EMI was not reported on Tuesday.

The EMI has picked up 65¢ over the last two sales.

36,468 bales were on offer in the smallest sale of the season, compared with 43,661 bales last week. 9.4% of the offering was.0 passed in, comprised of 5.7% in Sydney, 7.2% in Melbourne and 19.7% in Fremantle. Pass-in rates for Merino fleece and skirtings were 10.4% and 6.5%, respectively. 2,361 bales (6.1%) were withdrawn prior to sale and re-offered bales made up 16.4% of this week's offering.

The New Zealand Merino Company offered 2,249 bales in Melbourne on Tuesday of which 8.3% were passed in. 76 bales (3.4%) were withdrawn prior to sale and 14.0% of the bales were re-offers.

The US exchange rate (source RBA) was 0.79¢ higher on Monday when compared with Thursday of last week. It was then down by 0.10¢ on Tuesday, by 0.21¢ on Wednesday and by 0.90¢ on Thursday to close at 63.51¢, down 0.42¢ ( 0.7%) since the last sale. The exchange rate against the Euro fell by 0.47 Euro cents (-0.9%) to close at 50.85 Euro cents on Thursday night. When looked at in other currencies, the AWEX EMI moved up by 10¢ (+2.0%) in US terms and by 8¢ (+2.0%) in Euro terms when compared with the previous sale.

It was another positive week for the wool market, with the AWEX EMI up in Australian, US and Euro currencies and increase across all wool types and nearly all micron ranges. It was also the smallest sale of the season and the coming weeks are all expected to be less than 50,000 bales at this stage.

Changes in the AWEX Micron Price Guides (MPGs) for Merino wools varied from -0.2% (17.0 microns) to +4.9% (21.0 microns), with the 20 to 23 micron increases being around 3.5 to 5%.

Average AWEX Micron Price Guides (MPGs) were down by 3¢ for 17.0 microns, up by 32¢ for 17.5 microns, by 30¢ for 18.0 microns, by 29¢ for 18.5 microns, by 18¢ for 19.0 microns and by 18¢ for 19.5 microns. The 20.0 micron wool average MPG was up by 40¢ clean, 21.0 microns by 38¢, 22.0 microns by 25¢, 23.0 microns by 25¢, and 24.0 microns by 15¢.

Merino skirtings were again in strong demand with good price rises for all types. Crossbred types also lifted during the week, although the relative increases were less than for Merino types. Oddments were keenly sought after on both days, with the Merino Cardings average MPG up by 18¢ (+4.0%) for the week.

Buyers for China were dominant with support from those for India and some support from Europe.

Sales will be held in Newcastle, Melbourne and Fremantle next week, when 45,563 bales are currently rostered for sale. Present estimates for the following two sales are 49,949 and 46,450 bales (plus 2,000 bales from New Zealand), respectively, a decrease of 20.7% in Australian bales over the three sale period when compared with last year.

In South African sales, where 8,997 bales were on offer, the Cape Wools Indicator was up by 4.7% since last week against a 0.5% appreciation of the Rand against the US Dollar and a 0.1% appreciation against the Euro.