The Australian wool market finished 0.8% higher, on average, at sales in Sydney, Melbourne, Launceston and Fremantle this week when the US exchange rate rose by 0.9%.
49,584 bales were on offer, compared with 48,858 bales last week, of which 8.3% were passed in, comprised of 4.8% in Sydney, 6.9 in Melbourne, 9.9% in Launceston and 12.1% in Fremantle. Pass-in rates for Merino fleece and skirtings were 9.4% and 4.9%, respectively. 924 bales (1.8%) from the expected offering of 50,508 bales were withdrawn prior to sale and re-offered bales made up 11.4% of the final offering. 45,448 bales were cleared to the trade.
Exchange rates moved down at the beginning of this week in response to concerns arising from the Greek financial situation and rose on Thursday after the announcement of lower than expected unemployment figures in Australia and the consequent expectation of a rise in interest rates when the Reserve Bank meets next month.
It was another good week with steady gains across most micron ranges and types on each day of selling; as the market weathered the large fluctuations in exchange rates. The market closed on a very strong note in the North on Thursday when only 4,308 bales were on offer in the East. AWEX reports that prices for fleece types firmed in the speciality Launceston sale on Friday; and that a very good offering of skirtings saw their prices rise by 10 to 20¢ greasy.
Demand for skirtings types was strong, but a little mixed with some downwards movements on Wednesday after a price rises on Tuesday. Overall, the skirtings market remains strong. Crossbreds were also little mixed with gains in their average AWEX MPGs of around 3¢ (+.5%) at the fine and coarse ends, but down by 3¢ (-0.6%) at 28 microns. Similarly, results for oddments were varied during the week. The average AWEX Merino Cardings MPG finished down by 4¢ (-0.3%).
Buyers for China were again dominant, followed by buyers for Taiwan, India and Europe.
Sales will be held in Sydney, Melbourne and Fremantle next week, when 49,623 bales are currently rostered for sale. Present estimates for the following two sales (Weeks 35 and 36) are 49,150 and 49,000 bales, respectively; an increase of 0.9% over the three sale period when compared with last year.
The New Zealand Merino Company will also offer 3,000 bales in Melbourne next week and 1,450 bales in Week 35.
In South African sales, the Cape Wools Indicator was up by 2.1% since last week against a 3.3% depreciation of the Rand against the US Dollar and a 1.8% depreciation against the Euro. 6,765 bales were on offer.
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Australian Wool Industries Secretariat