Solid week for wool market

September 04, 2009 - Australia

The Australian wool market finished 0.6% higher, on average, at sales in Newcastle, Melbourne and Fremantle this week.

The AWEX EMI rose by 3¢ (+0.4%), ending the week at 815¢/kg. This reflected rises of 2¢ (+0.2%) in the North and 5¢ (+0.6%) in the South, with their corresponding Regional Indicators finishing the week at 836¢ and 797¢ clean, respectively. The Western Indicator rose by 7¢ (+0.9%), finishing the week at 804¢.

In a three day sale in Newcastle and a two day sale in Melbourne, the AWEX EMI rose by 1¢ on Tuesday, by 2¢ on Wednesday and was unchanged on Thursday. The Western Indicator rose by 7¢ on Wednesday in a one day sale in Fremantle.

42,167 bales were on offer, compared with 38,750 bales last week, of which 9.9% were passed in, comprised of 8.2% in Newcastle, 9.2% in Melbourne and 14.4% in Fremantle. Pass-in rates for Merino fleece and skirtings were 12.1% and 5.2%, respectively. 1,945 bales (4.4%) from the expected offering of 44,112 bales were withdrawn prior to sale and re-offered bales made up 11.9% of the final offering. 38,000 bales were cleared to the trade.

The US exchange rate (source RBA) was 0.24¢ higher on Monday when compared with Wednesday of last week. It was up by a further 0.27¢ on Tuesday, down by 0.99¢ on Wednesday (following the release of weaker than expected export data) and up by 0.40¢ on Thursday to close at 83.61¢, down 0.08¢ (-0.1%) since the last sale. The exchange rate against the Euro rose by 0.11 Euro cents (+0.2%) to close at 58.57 Euro cents on Thursday night. When looked at in other currencies, the AWEX EMI moved up by 1¢ (+0.1%) in US terms and by 2¢ (+0.4%) in Euro terms when compared with the previous sale.

It was a solid week for the market, with the overall market up slightly in all three currencies. In the first Newcastle sale of the season, prices weakened at the ultrafine end and were mixed over the other Superfine micron ranges, being either slightly up or slightly down. The competition from Italy was not as strong as usual at Newcastle because of current difficulties in obtaining Credit Risk Insurance for business done with Europe. Prices for other Merino types were generally firm, or up by a few cents.

Changes in the Average AWEX Micron Price Guides (MPGs) for Merino wools varied from -1.2% (16.5 microns) to +0.7% (18.5 microns). Average MPGs were down by 17¢ clean for 16.5 microns, by 10¢ for 17.0 microns, by 8¢ for 17.5 microns, up by 2¢ for 18.0 microns, by 7¢ for 18.5 microns, by 3¢ for 19.0 microns and down by 2¢ for 19.5 microns. The 20.0 micron wool average MPG was unchanged, 21.0 microns was down by 3¢, 22.0 microns was up by 3¢, 23.0 microns was unchanged, and 24.0 microns was up by 3¢.

Merino skirtings were in keen demand again, particularly for the better Superfine types in Newcastle. The average AWEX MPGs for crossbred types eased apart from the 28 micron value, which was unchanged. There was good demand for most oddment types which saw the average AWEX Merino Cardings MPG rise by 2¢.

Buyers for China were dominant followed by those buying for India with support from buyers for Italy in Newcastle.

Sales will be held in Sydney, Melbourne and Fremantle next week, when 46,226 bales are currently rostered for sale. Present estimates for the following two sales are 41,220 and 46,400 bales, respectively; a decrease of 9.9% over the three sale period when compared with last year.

The New Zealand Merino Company will offer 2,065 bales in Melbourne next week and 3,200 bales in Week 13.

In South Africa, where 6,809 bales were on offer, the Cape Wools Indicator was down by 2.5% since last sale against a 2.6% appreciation of the Rand against the US Dollar and a 5.7% appreciation against the Euro.