Weekly Wool Prices

Week ending 24 Feb 2012 (week 34)

24 February 2012

The AWEX Regional Indicators finished 3.3% lower, on average, at sales in Sydney, Melbourne and Fremantle this week. The US exchange rate fell by 0.3%.

This week was the second week 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.

As expected, the market got away to a slow start, following the easing seen on Thursday of last week. Individual Merino Micron MPGs fell by amounts from 18¢ to 49¢, with most falls between 30¢ and 40¢. Changes in crossbred MPGs were smaller, ranging from +6¢ to -20¢. The larger fall in the Western Indicator was mostly due to a reported 86¢ fall in the 18.5 MPGs and the absence of crossbred wools which cushioned the falls in the East.

The further falls on Wednesday and Thursday were greatest at the fine end.

Sellers reacted to the downturn in the market with an increase in the pass-in rate, particularly in the West where it was 38.6% on Wednesday.

Looking at the market over the last month, All Regional Indicators are above the levels of three weeks ago in both Australian and US currency. The EMI, at 1207¢, is 14¢ above the level of three weeks ago in A$ and 7¢ above the equivalent level in US currency.

RegionLast SaleDay-to-Day Changes (Week 34)Sale-to-Sale ChangeClosing IndicatorSale-to-Sale Changes
WeekIndicatorTuesdayWednesdayThursdayUS ¢Euro ¢
Northern331280-22-11No Sale-33 (-2.6%)1247-39-49
Southern331218-22-11-7-40 (-3.3%)1178-47-53
Western331265-42-8No Sale-50 (-4.0%)1215-58-62

49,584 bales were on offer, compared with 47,417 bales last week. 20.9% were passed in, comprised of 13.4% in Sydney, 20.3% in Melbourne and 29.8% in Fremantle. Pass-in rates for Merino fleece and skirtings were 25.9% and 20.2%, respectively. 39,223 bales were cleared to the trade.

The New Zealand Merino Company also offered 2,843 bales in Melbourne on Tuesday, of which 42.0% were passed in.

The year-to-date Australian offering is 40,560 bales less (-3.1%) than at the end of the same week last year (see table below). Current estimates for the next three sales indicate that the year-to-year difference may reduce slightly over that period. Next week’s sale looks to include some wool flushed out by the price rises of two weeks ago.

The US exchange rate (Reserve Bank) changed little on a week-to-week basis, but was quite volatile during the week. Rises last Friday and on Monday were attributed to confidence that the Greek “bailout” would be agreed to and a monetary easing in China. The increase could not be sustained over the next three days, falling back to just below last Thursday’s close.

Exchange Rates
(Reserve Bank)
Last SaleDay-to-Day ChangesSale-to-Sale
Closing ValueSeason Min & Max
United States106.83+0.94-0.53-0.72-0.06-0.37 (-0.3%)106.4695.00110.55
Euro82.06-0.47-0.78-0.27-0.24-1.76 (-2.1%)80.3071.5082.27

The fine wools recent better run came to and end this week when their average AWEX MPGs fell by a greater amount than those for the medium and broad Merino wools.

Sale-to-Sale Changes in Average AWEX Merino Micron Price Guides (MPGs)
Since Last Sale:
Change ¢-91-97-55-74-57-58-36-41-34-40-540
Change %-4.5%-5.5%-3.3%-4.7%-3.7%-3.9%-2.5%-3.0%-2.5%-3.0%-4.1%0.0%
Since Start of the Season:
Change ¢-726-674-574-462-318-244-177-143-102-103-6+72
Change %-27.5%-28.6%-26.3%-23.5%-17.8%-14.7%-11.3%-9.6%-7.1%-7.4%-0.5%+6.6%
Since Same Week Last Year:
Change ¢-650-747-688-600-395-218-33+98+154+154+189+182
Change %-25.3%-30.8%-30.0%-28.5%-21.2%-13.3%-2.3%+7.9%+13.1%+13.7%+17.6%+18.4%

Skirtings had a mixed start to the week with rises reported in the North and an easing in the South and the West. The falls continued in the South and the West on Wednesday, but settled on Thursday when only Melbourne sold.

Crossbreds started the week well, being less affected than Merino types; and moved up in the North. This was not sustained on Wednesday and Thursday when further falls occurred.

Oddments were generally in good demand all week. The average AWEX Merino Cardings Indicator was the only Indicator that was up for the week.

Sale-to-Sale Changes in Other Average AWEX Price Guides
Since Last Sale:
Change ¢-22-32-30-30-19+4
Change %-2.2%-3.8%-4.6%-5.1%-3.8%+0.6%
Since Start of the Season:
Change ¢+92-62-64-61-78-87
Change %+10.2%-7.1%-9.4%-9.9%-13.8%-10.8%
Since Same Week Last Year:
Change ¢+97+21-1+13+7-31
Change %+10.9%+2.7%-0.2%+2.4%+1.5%-4.1%
# Average Merino Cardings Price Guide

Buyers for China were dominant followed by buyers for Europe and India.

Sales will be held in Newcastle, Melbourne and Fremantle next week, when 49,598 bales are currently rostered for sale. Present estimates for the following two sales (Weeks 36 and 37) are 48,388 and 43,100 bales, respectively; an increase of 1.2% over the three sale period when compared with last year.

In South African sales, the Cape Wools Indicator moved up by 0.8% since the last sale two weeks ago. The Rand depreciated by 2.5% against the US Dollar and by 2.2% against the Euro. 10,821 bales were on offer.


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