Weekly Wool Prices

Week Ending 30 Mar (Week 39)

2 April 2012

The AWEX Regional Indicators finished 1.0% lower, on average, at sales in Sydney, Melbourne and Fremantle this week when the US exchange rate fell by 0.2%.

The market started in a softer manner this week, with falls across all Merino types and nearly all micron ranges on Wednesday. Wools up to 19.5 microns were most affected. Crossbreds had better start, with most AWEX MPGs moving up by small amounts. The market eased again on Thursday, but by a smaller amount than on Wednesday. The 18.0 to 19.0 micron wools most affected and 19.5 microns to 21.0 microns least affected. The West finished on a stronger note than the East. This made up for the larger falls that occurred in that centre on Wednesday.

The falls in the Indicators were slightly greater in US currency.

The EMI at 1212¢ is 171¢ less than in the same week last year; and the season average of 1227¢ is 169¢ higher than the season average at the end of Week 39 last year.

The Western Market Indicator is 88¢ less than in the same week last year; and the season average is 186¢ above the season average at the same time last year.

In other countries, the Cape Wools Indicator was down by 2.0% from their previous sale two weeks ago. The Rand to the US exchange rate was down by 0.8%. In New Zealand, the Wool Services International Coarse Crossbred Index fell by 4.0%.

In other fibres, May futures for cotton in the United States moved up by 4.3% during the week to close at 93.52 US¢ per pound on Friday night.

RegionLast SaleDay-to-Day Changes (Week 39)Sale-to-Sale ChangeClosing IndicatorSale-to-Sale Changes
WeekIndicatorTuesdayWednesdayThursdayUS ¢Euro ¢
Eastern381224No Sale-8-4-12 (-1.0%)1212-15-19
Northern381258No Sale-7-5-12 (-1.0%)1246-16-18
Southern381200No Sale-9-4-13 (-1.1%)1187-16-19
Western381243No Sale-16+3-13 (-1.0%)1230-16-20


42,413 bales were on offer, compared with 43,256 bales last week. 12.3% were passed in, comprised of 10.1% in Sydney, 11.3% in Melbourne and 16.1% in Fremantle. Pass-in rates for Merino fleece and skirtings were 14.1% and 14.1%, respectively.

37,175 bales were cleared to the trade.

The year-to-date offering is 51,135 bales less (-3.3%) than at the end of the same week last year (see table on the next page). Expected offerings are up by 8.8% over the next two sales, with a sharp rise in the figure for next week. This may be due to a lift in receivals following the delays caused by the heavy rain and floods earlier this month; and possibly due to some growers wanting to sell prior to the Easter break.

The US exchange rate started the week in an upward direction, only to move downwards on Wednesday and Thursday. Financial analysts partially attributed the rises to a weaker US Dollar and hints of a further “quantitative easing” in the United States. The falls were attributed to lower trading activity while traders adjusted their end of March positions and to a “wait and see” approach ahead of coming meetings in Europe.

Exchange Rates
(Reserve Bank)
Last SaleDay-to-Day ChangesSale-to-Sale
Closing ValueSeason Min & Max
United States 103.95+0.56+0.66-0.90-0.56-0.24 (-0.2%)103.7195.00110.55
Euro78.56+0.29-0.08-0.53-0.40-0.72 (-0.9%)77.8471.5082.27


There were falls across all average Merino AWEX MPGs apart from 23 and 24 microns. These two Indicators that are the least affected since the start of the season.

Sale-to-Sale Changes in Average AWEX Merino Micron Price Guides (MPGs)
Since Last Sale:
Change ¢  -32-41-41-38-21-16-8-9-10+1+8
Change %  -1.8%-2.5%-2.6%-2.6%-1.4%-1.1%-0.6%-0.7%-0.8%+0.1%+0.7%
Since Start of the Season:
Change ¢-739 -656-598-460-338-228-158-103-81-71-8+84
Change %-28.0% -27.9%-27.4%-23.4%-18.9%-13.7%-10.1%-6.9%-5.7%-5.1%-0.6%+7.7%
Since Same Week Last Year:
Change ¢-706 -785-740-608-459-271-113-14+32+24-8+29
Change %-27.0% -31.6%-31.9%-28.7%-24.0%-15.9%-7.4%-1.0%+2.4%+1.9%-0.6%+2.5%


Skirtings also came back on Wednesday, with the heavier VM and finer types most affected. This was followed by a better day on Thursday when most types either moved upwards or remained firm.

Overall, crossbreds had a better week than the Merino types for the second week in a row. The crossbred AWEX MPGs were generally firm, or moved upwards on both days.

It was mixed, but generally satisfactory week for the oddments, apart from in the North on Thursday. The average AWEX Merino Cardings Indicator was down by 0.4% for the week.

Sale-to-Sale Changes in Other Average AWEX Price Guides
Since Last Sale:
Change ¢  +7-1+3+5-3
Change %  +0.8%-0.2%+0.5%+1.0%-0.4%
Since Start of the Season:
Change ¢+76 -30-30-27-45-69
Change %+8.5% -3.5%-4.4%-4.4%-8.0%-8.6%
Since Same Week Last Year:
Change ¢-44 -90-84-81-94-77
Change %-4.3% -9.7%-11.4%-12.1%-15.3%-9.5%


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

Current export data, and the percentage changes from last year, for the top five export destinations and three other key destinations follow.

Country% Share of Australia’s Wool Exports by Weight of Wool ShippedYear-on-Year % Change in Wool Exports
January 2012July - January This SeasonJuly - January Last Season
Czech Republic2.2%3.6%4.0%-18.5%
Thailand #0.0%0.4%1.3%-74.0%
# Affected by Bangkok floods in October 2011 Change all Countries-8.9%


Sales will be held in Sydney, Melbourne and Fremantle next week, when 53,132 bales are currently rostered for sale. The present estimate for the following sale (Week 42) is 52,700 bales; an increase of 8.8% over the two sale period when compared with last year. Sales are in recess in Week 41, the week after Easter.

In South African sales, the Cape Wools Indicator was down by 2.0% since last sale two weeks ago against a 0.8% depreciation of the Rand against the US Dollar and a 3.0% depreciation against the Euro. 12,816 bales were on offer.

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