“Very mixed buying patterns were seen, with export buyers committed to continuing their accumulation of all merino types 19.5 micron and broader, while they were prepared to let the finer end of the merino market drift,” AWI said in its report on sale week 49 of the current wool season.
Despite a generally cheaper market in Australian dollars, the market provided no relief at all to major overseas buyers who all buy in US dollars. The EMI when expressed in US dollars bucked the AUD trend and closed out 7usc higher at another highest ever recorded market indicator level of 1540usc/clean kg. This USD EMI figure is indicative of the underlying continuing strength of demand, but the local auction market is starting to show that unpredictable price easing within individual types is likely to occur as orders are filled, particularly the larger indent orders.
The fine/super fine end of the merino fleece market (19 micron and finer) bore the brunt of some price resistance and drifted downward from the outset to be quoted generally 40ac lower. This negativity was brought about mainly due to the larger volume of lower quality, harder to place wools on offer, but some apprehension of local buyers to take perceived “cheap” lots into a stock position was also a factor.
Despite the weaker selling tone for the week, the better superfine types finer than 19 micron were still being well sought and managed to basically hold onto their established values for the series. One of the largest top makers in China competed strongly with the usual Italian operators and quite often out-bid them for some of the highest quality and specified lots on offer.
It was a total juxtaposition for the merino fleece market in that sale lots of 19.5 micron and broader remained under intense competition for the week. Whilst selling on a firm unchanged basis at Melbourne, some strong Chinese and trading interest at Sydney saw those levels head 15ac higher to more or less catch up with the values on offer in the Southern centre. Incredibly some individual lots around 22 to 22.5 micron were achieving the same money as wools up to 2 or 3 microns finer as the shortage of these wool types is being exacerbated by the continuing drought conditions across most of Australia.
The merino skirting market set the same path as the fleece equivalents with general losses of around 30ac/clean kg, except for the better brokens and pieces lots carrying around 2 per cent of vegetable matter which fully maintained their price levels. The comeback and crossbred fleece sector (25 to 32 micron) was affected by a short supply, very questionable quality and under prepared lots and therefore fell away by 5 to 10ac/clean kg. Cardings concluded the selling week at similar levels, although the low availability of any one type restricted any meaningful market direction being obtained.
For the sale week 50, wool auction will take place at all the three centres with 29,000 bales available.
Meanwhile, South Africa had its last sale of the season this week and it would not be holding auction sales until August 15. So, all buying attention for the next 6 auction weeks will be on Australia, before a three-week recess beginning July 13. (RKS)
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