Weekly Wool Prices

Week Ending 29 June (Week 52)

2 July 2012

The AWEX Regional Indicators finished 0.9% higher, on average at the last sales of the season in Sydney, Melbourne and Fremantle this week when the US exchange rate fell by 0.5%. The change in the EMI in US currency was +0.2%.

The market followed on from last week’s better performance, when the EMI finished the week with rises in both Australian and US currency. It opened on a firm note across all micron ranges and wool types on Wednesday. The greatest gains were in the South, particularly at 17.0 and 17.5 microns and for the fine and medium crossbred wools. The gains were retained on Thursday.

The lift of 14¢ in the Western Market Indicator was associated with the there being no sale in Fremantle last week. It has not moved as much as the EMI over the two week period, but this is because of the absence of fine wools in the WMI. Fine wools played a major part in the rise in the EMI last week.

The financial year has closed with the spot indicators well down on the same time last year, but with the season averages above the previous year due to the better start to the current season.

This week’s EMI of 1076¢ was 333¢ less than the same week last year, but the season average of 1198¢ is 55¢ greater than for last season. In the case of the WMI, this week’s value of 1096¢ is 282¢ below the same week last year; and the season average of 1206¢ is 103¢ above the average for 2010/12. The greater year-to-year difference in the average WMI is due to the relative absence of fine wools in the West. Fine wool Indicators have eased by more than those for the medium and broader wool Indicators over the last 12 months.

In other countries, the Wool Services International crossbred indicators in New Zealand were down by 3 to 4% at the fine end, firm in the middle and down by 3 to 6% at the coarse end.

Among other fibres, December Futures for cotton fell mid-week, but rose to 71.33 US¢ by Friday, up by 3.2% for the week.

Centre Last Sale Day-to-Day Changes (Week 52) Sale-to-Sale Change Closing Indicator Sale-to-Sale Changes
Week Indicator Tuesday Wednesday Thursday US ¢ Euro ¢
Eastern 511069No Sale+6+1+7 (+0.7%)1076+2+13
Northern 511085No Sale+2+2+4 (+0.4%)1089-1+11
Southern 511057No Sale+90+9 (+0.9%)1066+5+15
Western 501082No Sale+14No Sale+14 (+1.3%)1096+9+19

34,068 bales were on offer, compared with 21,569 bales last week (when only Sydney and Melbourne sold). 6.4% were passed in, comprised of 4.3% in Sydney, 4.4% in Melbourne and 16.2% in Fremantle. Pass-in rates for Merino fleece and skirtings were 6.7% and 6.7%, respectively. 31,894 bales were cleared to the trade.

The year-to-date offering is 35,972 bales less (-1.8%) than at the end of July last year (see table on the next page). The number of bales offered for the first time was 6.9% less than at the end of July last year. The size of this difference is mostly due to last year’s offering including a large number of bales shorn in previous seasons that came onto the market for the first time in response to the excellent wool prices at that time.

The US exchange rate fell sharply after last Thursday due to subdued manufacturing data out of China and Moody’s downgrading of the credit rating for 13 major global banks. There were further concerns in Europe this week when Cyprus sought a bailout for its second largest bank. Better economic news week later this week led to a rise in confidence and the US exchange rate on Wednesday and Thursday.

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 101.64-1.33+0.03+0.31+0.53-0.46 (-0.5%)101.1895.00110.55
Euro 80.15-0.06+0.12+0.32+0.34+0.72 (+0.9%)80.8771.5082.27

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 ¢ +11+12+17+8+7+3+8+2+3+4+7+13
Change % +0.7%+0.8%+1.2%+0.6%+0.5%+0.2%+0.6%+0.2%+0.2%+0.3%+0.6%+1.2%
Since Start of the Season:
Change ¢ -1062-930-786-625-486-372-303-244-196-168-70+31
Change % -40.2%-39.5%-36.0%-31.7%-27.2%-22.4%-19.4%-16.4%-13.7%-12.1%-5.5%+2.8%
Since Same Week Last Year:
Change ¢  -965-823-696-502-400-318-280-210-202-119-11
Change %  -40.4%-37.1%-34.1%-27.8%-23.7%-20.1%-18.4%-14.5%-14.2%-9.0%-1.0%

It was a very good week for skirtings types also, with prices moving up on both days. Pass-in rates followed the downward trend of other types and at 6.7% were well below those of recent weeks.

Crossbred wools MPGs all finished in positive territory.

Oddments also had another better week. The average AWEX Merino Cardings Indicator was up by 0.8%.

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 ¢  +10+5+20+5
Change %  +1.1%+0.8%+0.3%0.0%+0.8%
Since Start of the Season:
Change ¢  +39-48-25-71-208
Change %  +4.5%-7.1%-4.1%-12.6%-25.8%
Since Same Week Last Year:
Change ¢  -2-74-57-95-240
Change %  -0.2%-10.5%-8.8%-16.1%-28.6%

# Average Merino Cardings Price Guide

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

Highlights from the Australian Bureau of Statistics export data for April 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 in the first sale of the new season, when 33,243 bales are currently rostered for sale. The present estimate for the following sale (Week 02) is 41,057 bales; a decrease of 24.4% over the two sale period when compared with last year.

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)