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AWI Australian Wool Market Commentary

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Last week Australian wool auction sale results were again strongly directed by the erratic Australian dollar (AUD). A staggering fall of around 3% in value against the USD greeted the start of the selling week, which saw all prices across the board lifting substantially in AUD values. Lack of follow up orders though quickly extinguished the push and prices began to ease across the selection. The lack of keener interest from Chinese indents spooked the market, especially given the advantageous rates in play for these overseas users.


The first day was dearer and the second day firm to easier. This was reflected by the EMI (Eastern Market Indicator) movements which gained 11ac then dropped 5ac to conclude the week at 6ac higher at a level of 1311ac/clean kg.


The EMI expressed in USD fell back 26usc to 979 usc/clean kg, a more attractive level for overseas users. In fact the EMI when expressed in all of the major trading currencies fell similarly, relevantly in CNY and Euro by about 2.5%, which should help stimulate some buying activity.


The dramatic change in the foreign exchange rate unfortunately did not deliver the expected change in wool prices in AUD terms. That was exactly the sentiment following the results of this week from trade participants. Most thought the price rises would nearly match the depreciation of the dollar, but that was not the case. One exception was Merino fleece of 18 to 19 micron which produced 25ac gains, but the broader types 19.5 to 23 micron disappointed somewhat by giving ground by varying degrees between 5 and 20ac for the week. The superfine types finer than 18 micron fared ok to gain 10 to 15ac.


Compared to their Merino Fleece counterparts, the skirting markets had a very good week and gained upwards of 20ac. In some instances in pieces types broader than 20micron, the skirtings achieved similar prices to fleece, albeit in very small offerings. Cardings just managed to stay firm, whilst Crossbreds gained a general 10 to 15ac for the week.


Next week will see 42,000 bales on offer with large offerings in Melbourne of 19 to 23 micron expected to place pressure on price, similar to what occurred on the final day this week.


Source: AWI

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