Weekly Wool Prices

Week ending 2 Mar 2012 (week 35)

2 March 2012

The AWEX Regional Indicators finished 0.7% higher, on average, at sales in Newcastle, Melbourne and Fremantle this week when the US exchange rate rose by 1.1%. This was the last Newcastle sale of the season.

This week was also the third week of a four week trial in which all centres commence selling on Tuesday. Newcastle and Melbourne sold over three days, while Fremantle sold on Tuesday and Wednesday.

The market got away to a subdued start in Australian currency, and to a good start in US currency, on Tuesday, when the US exchange rate was up by 1.3¢ since the previous Thursday.

Wednesday’s market was very strong, with good rises in both currencies across all micron ranges and types. The market finished on a very strong note in the West on Wednesday that continued in the East when sales opened on Thursday.

Prices then eased a little later on Thursday, more so among the fine wools in Newcastle, where the Northern Indicator finished down by 1¢ for the day.

Growers reacted positively to the better market conditions with a pass-in rate of 9.6% compared with last week’s figure of 20.9%.

In other countries, the Cape Wools Indicator was down by 3.1%. This was against a 3.3% appreciation in their exchange rate.

RegionLast SaleDay-to-Day Changes (Week 35)Sale-to-Sale ChangeClosing IndicatorSale-to-Sale Changes
WeekIndicatorTuesdayWednesdayThursdayUS ¢Euro ¢
Eastern341207-7+10+3+6 (+0.5%)1213+21+9
Northern341247-7+7-1-1 (-0.1%)1246+13+4
Southern341178-8+13+6+11 (+0.9%)1189+26+13
Western341215-9+23No Sale+14 (+1.2%)1229+30+15

47,102 bales were on offer, compared with 49,584 bales last week. 9.6% were passed in, comprised of 8.7% in Newcastle, 8.7% in Melbourne and 12.7% in Fremantle. Pass-in rates for Merino fleece and skirtings were 9.3% and 11.8%, respectively.

42,574 bales were cleared to the trade.

The year-to-date offering is 38,191 bales less (-2.8%) than at the end of the same week last year. Current estimates for the next three sales indicate that the year-to-year difference will be unchanged over that period. Next week’s sale also looks to include some wool flushed out by the price rises of three weeks ago. It is around 8,000 bales up on first expectations three weeks ago.

The widespread floods in New South Wales and North Eastern Victoria appear certain to delay shearing in some areas, which may affect auction offerings for some weeks.

The US exchange rate (Reserve Bank) rose steadily during the week, apart from a half cent fall on Thursday. Financial analysts attribute the rises to improved confidence after the German Parliament voted to support the latest Greek bailout plan earlier in the week and to good local retail data on Wednesday. The fall on Thursday was attributed to statements from the United States Federal Reserve that had a negative connotation.

Exchange Rates
(Reserve Bank)
Last SaleDay-to-Day ChangesSale-to-Sale
Closing ValueSeason Min & Max
United States106.46+0.43+0.88+0.39-0.53+1.17 (+1.1%)107.6395.00110.55
Euro80.30-0.83+0.740.00+0.43+0.34 (+0.4%)80.6471.5082.27

All Merino average AWEX MPGs finished up slightly for the week. The fine wools in Newcastle did best on Wednesday when the market was strongest. Overall, it was a much better week for the fine wools, which were affected most in last week’s falls.

The 24 micron average MPG had the greatest upward percentage change. This followed on from last week, when it was the only average Merino MPG not to fall.

Sale-to-Sale Changes in Average AWEX Merino Micron Price Guides (MPGs)
Since Last Sale:
Change ¢+4+27+11+41+11+29+25+28+5+25+14+41
Change %+0.2%+1.6%+0.7%+2.7%+0.7%+2.0%+1.8%+2.1%+0.4%+2.0%+1.1%+3.5%
Since Start of the Season:
Change ¢-722-647-563-421-307-215-152-115-97-78+8+113
Change %-27.3%-27.5%-25.8%-21.4%-17.2%-13.0%-9.7%-7.7%-6.8%-5.6%+0.6%+10.3%
Since Same Week Last Year:
Change ¢-675-779-712-601-420-202-29+106+145+172+183+198
Change %-26.0%-31.3%-30.6%-28.0%-22.1%-12.3%-2.0%+8.4%+12.2%+15.2%+16.7%+19.6%

Skirtings had a mixed start to the week, holding firm in Newcastle, but easing in Melbourne and Fremantle. There was generally good demand for the better types and more so for the medium and broader Merino wools.

Crossbred offerings were largely confined to Melbourne this week. The overall percentage changes in the crossbred average MPGs were similar to those for Merino wool; and the price movements during the week generally followed a similar pattern to Merino wools.

Oddments had a good week, with strong demand on Wednesday and prices remaining firm on Tuesday and Thursday.

Sale-to-Sale Changes in Other Average AWEX Price Guides
Since Last Sale:
Change ¢+8-8+9+14+14+9
Change %+10.9%-1.0%+1.5%+2.5%+2.9%+1.3%
Since Start of the Season:
Change ¢+200-70-55-47-64-78
Change %+22.2%-8.1%-8.1%-7.6%-11.3%-9.7%
Since Same Week Last Year:
Change ¢+162-42-34-19-24-37
Change %+17.3%-5.0%-5.2%-3.2%-4.6%-4.8%
# Average Merino Cardings Price Guide

Buyers for China were dominant followed by buyers for Europe and India. Buyers for Italy had a strong presence in Newcastle.

Sales will be held in Sydney, Melbourne and Fremantle next week, when 52,367 bales are currently rostered for sale. Present estimates for the following two sales (Weeks 37 and 38) are 42,800 and 46,000 bales, respectively; a decrease of 0.6% over the three sale period when compared with last year.

In South African sales, the Cape Wools Indicator was down by 3.1% since last week against a 3.3% appreciation of the Rand against the US Dollar and a 1.6% appreciation against the Euro. 7,883 bales were on offer.


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