Weekly Wool Prices

Week ending 17 Feb 2012 (week 33)

17 February 2012

The AWEX Regional Indicators finished 0.4% higher, on average, at sales in Sydney, Melbourne, Launceston and Fremantle this week when the US exchange rate fell by 1.1%.

This week was the first of a four week trial in which all centres commence selling on Tuesday. Melbourne sold over three days, while Sydney and Fremantle sold on Tuesday and Wednesday. It was also the week of the speciality sale of Tasmanian wool in Melbourne. It was held on Tuesday and included some very good Merino, comeback and crossbred wool.

The market got away to a solid start on Tuesday, following last week’s very strong market. The Northern Indicator was up by 13¢, the Western Indicator by 9¢ and the Southern Indicator by 3¢. The smaller shift in the Southern Indicator needs to be kept in perspective, as Tuesday’s offering of Tasmanian wool is all stored in Launceston. Buyers need to include the additional freight cost from Launceston in their bareme.

The market started to soften towards the close of selling on Wednesday. This was followed by a further easing in the market on Thursday in the Melbourne where the Southern Indicator came back by 10¢.

The crossbred market fared better than the Merino market this week in a reversal of recent trends.

This week also saw the end of the large increases of the EMI in US currency in recent weeks. The combination of a lower exchange rate and a softer closing market resulted in a 13¢ fall in the EMI in US currency.

The EMI at 1244¢ is 10¢ less than in the same week last year; and the season average of 1228¢ is 234¢ higher than the season average at the end of Week 33 last year.

RegionLast SaleDay-to-Day Changes (Week 33)Sale-to-Sale ChangeClosing IndicatorSale-to-Sale Changes
WeekIndicatorTuesdayWednesdayThursdayUS ¢Euro ¢
Eastern321243+70-6+1 (+0.1%)1244-13+10
Northern321270+13-3No Sale+10 (+0.8%)1280-5+17
Southern321223+3+2-10-5 (-0.4%)1218-20+4
Western321254+9+2No Sale+11 (+0.9%)1265-3+18

47,417 bales were on offer, compared with 42,907 bales last week. 8.1% were passed in, comprised of 5.8% in Sydney, 8.6% in Launceston and 9.7% in Fremantle. Pass-in rates for Merino fleece and skirtings were 7.8% and 7.3%, respectively.

43,570 bales were cleared to the trade.

The year-to-date offering is 41,203 bales less (-3.3%) than at the end of the same week last year. Last week’s market has flushed out some additional wool for next week’s sale. But, not enough to reduce the expected year-on-year difference over the next three weeks. Offerings at this time last year were being boosted by grower responses to the very good market.

The US exchange rate (Reserve Bank) eased progressively during the week, apart from a short-lived lift on Wednesday. Financial analysts have pointed to resumed uncertainty about the Greek "bailout", the better than expected January employment data in Australia and speculation about the Reserve Bank’s next decision on interest rates has being factors of importance during the week. Overnight trading on Thursday lifted the exchange rate over 107¢

Exchange Rates
(Reserve Bank)
Last SaleDay-to-Day ChangesSale-to-Sale
Closing ValueSeason Min & Max
United States108.00-0.60-0.62+0.59-0.54-1.17 (-1.1%)106.8395.00110.55
Euro81.35-0.30+0.09+0.41+0.51+0.71 (+0.9%)82.0671.5082.27

The fine wools had another relatively good week, in which their average MPGs were less affected than the 19.5 to 23 micron Indicators.

When looked at over the last two week, all Merino average AWEX MPGs are up by 4.0% to 5.5%, other than 19.5, 20.0 and 22.0 microns, which are up by around 3%.

Sale-to-Sale Changes in Average AWEX Merino Micron Price Guides (MPGs)
Since Last Sale:
Change ¢+4+2-11-2+5-7-15-11-8-25-200
Change %+0.2%+0.1%-0.7%-0.1%+0.3%-0.5%-1.0%-0.8%-0.6%-1.9%-1.5%0.0%
Since Start of the Season:
Change ¢-635-577-519-388-261-186-141-102-68-63+48+72
Change %-24.0%-24.5%-23.8%-19.7%-14.6%-11.2%-9.0%-6.9%-4.8%-4.6%+3.8%+6.6%
Since Same Week Last Year:
Change ¢-478-617-579-504-333-129+41+170+214+215+271+199
Change %-19.2%-25.8%-25.8%-24.2%-17.9%-8.1%+3.0%+14.0%+18.6%+19.4%+25.9%+20.5%

Skirting types started strongly on Tuesday, particularly at the Tasmanian sale in Melbourne, where sharp rises were reported at the fine end. The rises were better than those for the fleece types. Prices generally steadied on Wednesday, before easing on Thursday.

It was a very good week for crossbreds with gains of up to 6% in their average MPGs.

Oddments started well, particularly in the West, after which they remained reasonably steady across all centres, before lifting slightly in the South on Thursday.

Sale-to-Sale Changes in Other Average AWEX Price Guides
Since Last Sale:
Change ¢+21+49+28+31+12+8
Change %+2.1%+6.2%+4.5%+5.6%+2.4%+1.1%
Since Start of the Season:
Change ¢+114-30-34-31-59-91
Change %+12.7%-3.5%-5.0%-5.0%-10.4%-11.3%
Since Same Week Last Year:
Change ¢+146+65+65+66+47-14
Change %+16.9%+8.4%+11.2%+12.7%+10.2%-1.9%
# Average Merino Cardings Price Guide

Buyers for China were dominant followed by buyers for Europe, India and Korea. Buyers for Italy were noticeable in the Launceston sale on Tuesday.

Sales will be held in Sydney, Melbourne and Fremantle next week, when 51,901 bales are currently rostered for sale. Present estimates for the following two sales (Weeks 35 and 36) are 42,230 and 44,400 bales, respectively; a decrease of 3.8% over the three sale period when compared with last year.

The New Zealand Merino Company is rostered to offer 2,826 bales in Melbourne next week.

Sales are in recess in South Africa until next week.


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