The Australian wool market finished 1.6% lower, on average, at sales in Sydney, Melbourne and Fremantle this week when the US exchange rate rose by 2.0%.
51,369 bales were on offer, compared with 46,270 bales at the last sale. 24.5% of the bales offered were passed in, comprised of 18.6% in and 26.1% in. Pass-in rates for Merino fleece and skirtings were 28.2% and 25.0%, respectively.
4,150 bales (7.5%) from the expected offering of 55,519 bales were withdrawn prior to sale and re-offered bales made up 10.1% of the final offering. 38,760 bales were cleared to the trade.
Exchange rates have all strengthened since last sale, particularly the US exchange rate.
The market opened on a cautious note after the Easter break and marked strengthening of the US exchange rate, with buyers in a “watch and see” mode before striking a new price level. Prices fell across all wool types and micron ranges, although the EMI was only down by 1¢ in US terms. Thursday saw a more settled market that finished on much stronger note with most AWEX Micron Price Guides (MPGs) up. It is likely that the Northern Indicator would have been up on Thursday except for a 34¢ fall in the Merino Cardings MPG. The Western market finished very strongly in what may be a guide to how next week's market may open.
Prices for skirting types fell on Wednesday in line with falls for fleece types and were reported as softer again on Thursday apart from in the South. Crossbred prices fell on Wednesday and showed some recovery on Thursday. Average crossbred MPGs fell by around 1% since the last sale. In contrast with most weeks, prices for oddments eased on both days, with the average AWEX Merino Cardings MPG down by 27¢ (-4.3%). This figure was strongly influenced by a reported 34¢ fall in the Northern market on Thursday.
Buyers for China were again dominant, followed by buyers for Europe, Taiwan, and India. The strong presence of buying for Europe seen prior to Easter eased this week.
Sales will be held in Sydney, Melbourne and Fremantle next week, when 46,496 bales are currently rostered for sale. Present estimates for the following two sales (Weeks 44 and 45) are 42,160 and 43,900 bales, respectively; a decrease of 5.6% over the three sale period when compared with last year.
In South African sales, the Cape Wools Indicator was down by 2.8% since the last sale two weeks ago against a 0.8% appreciation of the Rand against the US Dollar and a 0.5% depreciation against the Euro. 11,151 bales were on offer.
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Australian Wool Industries Secretariat