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Wool market up, skirting types in good demand again

Jun '09
The Australian wool market finished 0.4% higher, on average, at the last sales for 2008/09 in Sydney, Melbourne and Fremantle this week.

The AWEX EMI rose by 2¢ (+0.3%), ending the week at 777¢/kg. This reflected rises of 2¢ (+0.3%) in the North and 4¢ (+0.5%) in the South, with their corresponding Regional Indicators finishing the week at 798¢ and 761¢ clean, respectively. The Western Indicator rose by 2¢ (+0.3%) since the last sale two weeks ago, finishing the week at 769¢.

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

33,208 bales were on offer, compared with 17,206 bales last week (when only Sydney and Melbourne sold), of which 12.3% were passed in, comprised of 10.7% in Sydney, 9.9% in Melbourne and 19.5% in Fremantle. Pass-in rates for Merino fleece and skirtings were 14.3% and 10.1%, respectively. 1,621 bales (4.7%) from the expected offering of 34,829 bales were withdrawn prior to sale and re-offered bales made up 14.8% of the final offering. 29,108 bales were cleared to the trade.

In a fluctuating week, the US exchange rate (source RBA) was 0.76¢ higher on Monday when compared with Thursday of last week. It was then down by 2.08¢ on Tuesday, up by 1.52¢ on Wednesday and by 0.36¢ on Thursday to close at 79.94¢, up 0.56¢ (+0.7%) since the last sale. The exchange rate against the Euro rose by 0.31 Euro cents (+0.5%) to close at 57.26 Euro cents on Thursday night. When looked at in other currencies, the AWEX EMI moved up by 6¢ (+1.0%) in US terms and by 4¢ (+0.9%) in Euro terms when compared with the previous sale.

It was a steady week, with the market moving up on Wednesday and generally retaining those gains on Thursday despite the upward movement in the US exchange rate. The AWEX EMI finished up on last week in all three currencies.

Changes in the Average AWEX Micron Price Guides (MPGs) for Merino wools varied from -0.7% (24.0 microns) to +2.1% (19.5 microns) with the greatest gains from 19.0 to 20.0 microns. Average MPGs were up by 7¢ clean for 16.5 microns, down by 5¢ for 17.0 microns, up by 5¢ for 17.5 microns, by 7¢ for 18.0 microns, by 9¢ for 18.5 microns, by 13¢ for 19.0 microns and by 18¢ for 19.5 microns. The 20.0 micron wool average MPG was up by 9¢ clean, 21.0 microns was down by 2¢, 22.0 microns by 1¢, 23.0 microns by 2¢, and 24.0 microns by 5¢.

Skirting types were in good demand again, with wools containing lower Vegetable Matter levels, or were of better style or had good length being the most keenly sought types. Crossbreds moved up at the fine end and in the medium micron ranges, but were down slightly at the coarse end. Oddments were up in the North and South on Wednesday, but eased in the West. Thursday saw good demand for these wools, with the average AWEX Merino Cardings MPG unchanged for the week.

Buyers for China dominated sales this week followed by support from India. There was some increased activity from Europe this week.

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