AWEX EMI drop by 16¢

December 22, 2008 - Australia

The Australian wool market finished 1.9% lower, on average, in Sydney, Melbourne and Fremantle in the last sales before the three week Christmas break.

It was also a week in which the US exchange rate appreciated by 6.5%, due mainly to a 4.4% rise on Wednesday in response to Federal Reserve lowering official interest rates in the United States to 0.0 to 0.25%.

The AWEX EMI fell by 16¢ (-2.1%), ending the week at 764¢/kg. This reflected falls of 21¢ (-2.6%) in the North and 12¢ (-1.6%) in the South, with their corresponding Regional Indicators finishing the week at 792¢ and 740¢ clean, respectively. The Western Indicator fell by 12¢ (-1.6%), finishing the week at 733¢.

In a two day sale in Sydney and Melbourne, the AWEX EMI fell by 9¢ on Tuesday and by 7¢ on Wednesday. The Western Indicator fell by 3¢ on Tuesday and by 9¢ on Wednesday in a two day sale in Fremantle.

44,527 bales were on offer, compared with 39,565 bales last week, of which 21.5% were passed in, comprised of 18.1% in Sydney, 20.0% in Melbourne and 27.3% in Fremantle. Pass-in rates for Merino fleece and skirtings were 26.1% and 14.8%, respectively. 2,357 bales (5.0%) were withdrawn prior to sale and re-offered bales made up 14.8% of this week's offering.

The US exchange rate (source RBA) rose was 1.31¢ higher on Monday when compared with Thursday of last week. It was unchanged on Tuesday and up by 2.97¢ on Wednesday (as mentioned above) to close at 69.94¢, up 4.28¢ (+6.5%) since the last sale. Contrary to the US exchange rate, the exchange rate against the Euro fell by 0.86 Euro cents (-1.7%) to close at 49.46 Euro cents on Wednesday night. When looked at in other currencies, the AWEX EMI moved up by 22¢ (+4.3%) in US terms and was down by 14¢ (-3.6%) in Euro terms when compared with the previous sale. 16¢ of the 22¢ gain in the US equivalent of the EMI occurred on Wednesday.

It was a week in which the prices came down if you were a seller, but went up if you were a buyer, due to the large appreciation of the US exchange rate. The changes in the market were not uniform with distinct difference due to micron. Wools of 19.5 microns and finer moved down sharply, whereas those between 22.0 and 24.0 microns were unchanged or slightly up due to strong competition for these wools from Japanese and Indian customers. 20.0 and 21.0 micron wools were down, but were less affected than Superfine wools.

Changes in the AWEX Micron Price Guides (MPGs) for Merino wools varied from -4.3% (18.5 and 19.5 microns) to +0.7% (23.0 microns) with the downward movements at the fine end between 3.4 and 4.3%. Average AWEX Micron Price Guides (MPGs) were down by 55¢ clean for 16.5 microns, by 43¢ for 17.0 microns, by 41¢ for 17.5 microns, by 44¢ for 18.0 microns, by 45¢ for 18.5 microns, by 36¢ for 19.0 microns and by 37¢ for 19.5 microns. The 20.0 micron wool average MPG was down by 23¢ clean, 21.0 microns by 11¢, 22.0 microns was unchanged, 23.0 microns was up by 5¢, and 24.0 microns by 1¢.

Prices for Merino skirtings were reported as unchanged in the North and the South on Tuesday, but down in the West. There was a slight easing on Wednesday. Crossbred prices also moved downwards with the falls in their average MPGs ranging from -6.9% to -3.2% with the fine and medium crossbreds most affected. Oddment prices were also down, but did reasonably well with a fall of 14¢ (-3.1%) in the AWEX average Merino Cardings Indicator.

Buyers for China dominated this week’s sales with support from India and from buyers Japan for the broader Merino wools.

Sales will be in recess next week and resume in the week commencing 12 January. The estimated offering for that week is not yet available.

Sales in South Africa are in recess until 14 January.