Weekly Wool Prices

Week Ending 15 June (Week 50)

18 June 2012

The AWEX Regional Indicators finished 2.5% lower, on average, at sales in Sydney, Melbourne and Fremantle this week when the US exchange rate fell by 0.1%.

The greater fall in the Western Market Indicator was again associated with a “catch up” following the break in sales in Fremantle last week.

The ongoing global economic uncertainty associated with the Eurozone and Sunday’s elections in Greece; and its effect on confidence and demand was a major influence on the market this week. Indicators were down across all Merino micron ranges and types on both selling days. The falls were larger than those of the two preceding weeks, but smaller than those seen during May.

On the other hand crossbred prices hung on very well to finish the week with their average AWEX Micron Price Guides either unchanged or slightly up. This continues the overall better price performance seen in this sector this season.

The EMI and WMI have fallen by 116¢ (-9.9%) and 96¢ (-8.6%) respectively since wool, and other commodity prices, started falling in May. This was a result the announcement by the Greek political parties that they were unable to form a Government and the consequent negative impact on global economic certainty uncertainty.

However, the season average EMI and WMI remain above last year’s values as the end of the season is approaching. The average EMI is still 74¢ above the same period last year, while the WMI is 112¢ above the same period last year.

Pass-in rates rose in response to the greater fall in the market.

In other countries, South African sales are in recess until mid-August. The Wool Services International coarse crossbred (36 - 39 microns) Indicator was down by 1 to 3% in New Zealand.

Among other fibres, cotton December Futures rose by 1.6% to 71.02 US ¢ per pound.

Centre Last Sale Day-to-Day Changes (Week 50) Sale-to-Sale Change Closing Indicator Sale-to-Sale Changes
Week Indicator Tuesday Wednesday Thursday US ¢ Euro ¢
Eastern 491079No Sale-15-10-25 (-2.3%)1054-26-20
Northern 491101No Sale-20-11-31 (-2.8%)1070-32-26
Southern 491062No Sale-11-8-19 (-1.8%)1043-20-16
Western 481113No Sale-31No Sale-31 (-2.8%)1082-32-25

32,693 bales were on offer, compared with 27,601 bales last week (when only Sydney and Melbourne sold). 16.8% were passed in, comprised of 13.8% in Sydney, 14.2% in Melbourne and 26.5% in Fremantle. Pass-in rates for Merino fleece and skirtings were 19.6% and 14.8%, respectively.

27,188 bales were cleared to the trade.

The year-to-date offering is 37,941 bales less (-2.0%) than at the end of the same week last year (see table below). This figure is expected to remain virtually unchanged over the next two weeks when the current selling season finishes.

The US exchange rate was free of large fluctuations this week; and was virtually unchanged for the week, as the good economic data seen in Australia in the last week continued to overshadow the impact of the concerns in the Eurozone. The results of the Greek election on Sunday will be very closely watched in global economic markets.

Exchange Rates
(Reserve Bank)
Last Sale Day-to-Day Changes Sale-to-Sale
Closing Value Season Min & Max
Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Min Max
United States 99.62Public-0.64+0.48+0.10-0.06 (-0.1%)99.5695.00110.55
Euro 79.26Holiday-0.02+0.39-0.45-0.08 (-0.1%)79.1871.5082.27

Sale-to-Sale Changes in Average AWEX Merino Micron Price Guides (MPGs)
Micron 16.5 17.0 17.5 18.0 18.5 19.0 19.5 20.0 21.0 22.0 23.0 24.0
Since Last Sale:
Change ¢ -73-42-36-18-22-26-30-29-22-28-39 
Change % -4.5%-2.9%-2.6%-1.4%-1.7%-2.0%-2.4%-2.3%-1.8%-2.3%-3.2% 
Since Start of the Season:
Change ¢ -1077-964-832-661-517-406-334-262-207-177-84 
Change % -40.7%-41.0%-38.1%-33.6%-28.9%-24.5%-21.3%-17.6%-14.5%-12.8%-6.6% 
Since Same Week Last Year:
Change ¢ -960-962-848-746-573-496-427-353-295-248-134 
Change % -38.0%-40.9%-38.6%-36.3%-31.1%-28.4%-25.8%-22.4%-19.4%-17.0%-10.2% 

Skirting prices eased on both days, with the poorer types again the most affected. There appeared to be more willing sellers this week, as was the case last week. The pass-in rate of 14.8% for Merino types was similar to that of last week and was well below the pass-in rate of 19.6% for fleece wool for the first time for some weeks.

It was a good week for crossbred wools. As mentioned above, their average AWEX MPGs were either unchanged, or slightly up for the week.

Oddments eased sharply on Wednesday, apart from in the South, but were steadier on Thursday.

Sale-to-Sale Changes in Other Average AWEX Price Guides
Micron 25.0 26.0 28.0 30.0 32.0 MC#
Since Last Sale:
Change ¢    -4+1+4-15
Change %    -0.6%+0.2%+0.8%-2.5%
Since Start of the Season:
Change ¢   -58-36-80-214
Change %   -8.5%-5.8%-14.2%-26.6%
Since Same Week Last Year:
Change ¢    -70-50-95-215
Change %    -10.1%-7.9%-16.4%-26.6%

# Average Merino Cardings Price Guide

Buyers for China were dominant this week, followed by strong support from buyers for India, Korea and Europe.

Highlights from the most recent Australian Bureau of Statistics export data for the top five export destinations and three other key destinations follow.

Country % Share of Australia’s Wool Exports by Weight of Wool Shipped Year-on-Year % Change in Wool Exports
April 2012 July - April This Season July - April Last Season
China 79.2%75.6%75.0%-10.7%
India 5.6%6.6%7.3%-20.2%
Italy 2.9%5.2%5.3%-13.3%
Czech Republic 5.9%4.0%3.9%-10.1%
Taiwan 1.9%2.3%2.4%-14.6%
Korea 0.9%1.5%1.1%18.1%
Malaysia 0.5%1.0%0.7%35.8%
Thailand # 0.0%0.2%1.1%-79.9%
# Affected by Bangkok floods in October 2011 Change all Countries -11.3%

Sales will be held in Sydney and Melbourne next week, when 22,600 bales are currently rostered for sale. Present estimates for the following two sales (Weeks 52 and 01 next season) are 33,310 and 30,700 bales, respectively; a decrease of 6.9% over the three sale period when compared with last year. There is only one Fremantle sale scheduled in that period, in Week 52.

Sales are in recess in South Africa until 15 August.

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© AWIS 2012 (for permission to reprint, in part or whole, please contact AWIS)