The Australian Wool Industries Secretariat Inc (AWIS) releases wool sale report for the week ending March 16. The Australian Wool Exchange (AWEX) Regional Indicators finished 1.9% higher, on average, at sales in Sydney, Melbourne and Fremantle this week when the US exchange rate fell by 1.3%.
The market got away to good start in a smaller sale on Wednesday; following on from the strong demand on Thursday of the previous week. The Eastern Market Indicator (EMI) rose by 10¢ in Australian currency and by 12¢ in US currency. The greatest percentage changes in the AWEX Micron Price Guides were from 18.5 to 20 microns. Sellers responded to the good market with a very low pass-in rate of 5.1%. The larger increase (+31¢) in the Western Indicator on Wednesday included a “catch-up” component, as there was no sale in Fremantle on the Thursday of the previous week.
It was a more mixed day on Thursday with the Eastern Market Indicator (EMI) up, but there was a softer finish in the West, where the Indicator was down by 2¢, due mainly to falls of 20¢ and 21¢ in the AWEX 18.0 and 18.5 Micron Price Guide (MPGs). Trade reports indicate that larger lots (which were present in significant numbers in the South) came under pressure on Thursday.
The closing Eastern Market Indicator (EMI) at 1239¢ is 131¢ less than in the same week last year. But, the season average of 1227¢ is 190¢ higher than the season average at the end of Week 37 last year.
In other countries, it was a good week in South Africa where the Cape Wools Indicator was up by 2.3% and the US exchange rate appreciated by 1.1%. Wool Services International reported that most crossbred prices in New Zealand were up by around 1%, or a little more; and that currency was down by around 0.5%.
In other fibres, May futures for cotton in the United States were down by 1.5% to 87.48 US¢ / pound since last Friday.
41,560 bales were on offer, compared with 49,723 bales last week. 6.2% were passed in, comprised of 5.1% in Sydney, 5.2% in Melbourne and 9.2% in Fremantle. Pass-in rates for Merino fleece and skirtings were 5.1% and 7.3%, respectively. 38,989 bales were cleared to the trade.
The year-to-date offering is 41,557 bales less (-2.9%) than at the end of the same week last year (see table on the next page). The year-to-year difference is likely to slip further in the short term as current estimates for the next three sales are all down following the heavy rain and floods in New South Wales and Victoria in March.
The US exchange rate (RBA) eased again in response to a variety of economic news during the week. Financial analysts attributed the early fall in the exchange rate to poorer trade data out of China and a strengthening of the US Dollar in response to better employment data in the United States. This was followed by reports of weaker consumer confidence in Australia on Wednesday.
There were good rises in the AWEX Micron Price Guide (MPGs) across all Merino Micron ranges and types on Wednesday; and again for 17.0 and 17.5 microns in Sydney on Thursday. There were similar week-to-week changes across all micron ranges other than at 23 and 24 microns.