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Aussie wool prices slide towards end of last week
Aug '13
Wool auction sales opened initially this week to a largely positive result, with the first day being quoted as generally firm in prices and no real movement in any of the type categories on offer. Whilst the number of bales put up for sale was relatively light in volume, the competition was very much evident to be less intense to the previous series, and the subsequent weakening of levels throughout the final day was somewhat anticipated by the buying fraternity.

Unfortunately, by the cessation of selling for the week, all price indicators were showing net losses of between 5 and 10acents clean approximately.

Superfine Merino types 18.5 of most descriptions held on to their last weeks’ gains rather well, with only the lowest types on offer peeling off towards the close.

Sale lots with higher vm (vegetable matter), shorter gsl (greasy staple length) and weaker strength were most affected, as the top makers either filled current orders or switched to the coarser end of the selection. The best style and measured lots remained relatively firm throughout and the small offering of spinners descriptions met with much better competition than the lower types.

Fine, medium and coarse Merino types and descriptions were mostly traded at similar levels all week until the last hour or so in Melbourne which saw a very abrupt fall on the broader types 20.5 micron and coarser descriptions, resulting in the loss of a good 25 to 35acents in that last hour.

Contrary to this market fall was that the Sydney market continued selling after Melbourne at levels 15acents higher. Perhaps container filling in centers or order placements could be a factor? Whatever the reason, there was a very apparent unwillingness of buyers to take on any stock, even at such comparatively discounted levels.

The crossbred and comeback sector had a very uneventful week, with most prices remaining at the current attractive price levels. Competition remains in place, but the pressure to deliver now appears to be somewhat waning and new orders are needed to continue this market segment travelling along this plane.

It eventually had to happen, but the carding market has appeared to have topped out for the moment. Whilst prices being achieved in this area of the wool offering are significant, the impetus seems to be stalled at present. Perhaps the historically highest prices ever paid is retarding the thrust or possibly the extremely narrow price gap to the worsted types is alarming the users of these types?

With woolgrowers seemingly reluctant to offer their wool for sale, volumes next week will be less than 30,000 bales. In fact, the Fremantle centre in Western Australia will not even hold a sale, choosing to hold off and build up a reasonable auction quantity for the following week.

The sharp fall towards the close in Melbourne and the overall weak sentiment flowing out of China at the moment is a real concern, and if the market canhold on at firm levels that is anticipated to be a good result.

Australian Wool Innovation Limited

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