Weekly Wool Prices

Week Ending April 20 (Week 42)

23 April 2012

The AWEX Regional Indicators finished 2.0% lower, on average, when sales resumed in Sydney, Melbourne and Fremantle after the one week Easter break. The US exchange rate rose by 0.7% over the two weeks since the last sale.

The market eased again when it opened on Tuesday in the South and on Wednesday in the North and the West. The softer market was expected by members of the trade given the size of the offering, current market trends and that all reports say that China is very quiet at the moment. Nevertheless the fall was less than had been tipped by some. The North was the most affected when sales opened there on Wednesday. The fine end was most affected in the opening sales.

The Southern market bounced back on Wednesday, but eased again on Thursday.

Crossbreds again fared better than the Merino wools. Pass-in rates continue to be above average

The EMI remains at a healthy level in historical terms; and at 1165¢ is 160¢ less than in the same week last year. The season average of 1224¢ is 142¢ higher than the season average at the end of Week 42 last year.

The Western Market Indicator was 85¢ less than in the same week last year; and the season average is 164¢ above the season average at the same time last year.

In other countries, the Cape Wools Indicator was down by 0.3% from the previous sale two weeks ago. The Rand to the US exchange rate was down by 0.8%. In New Zealand, Wool Services International reported that most crossbred types eased by 3 to 5%.

Among other fibres, May futures for cotton were up by 1.7% from the time of the last wool sale, to close at 90.03 US¢ per pound on Friday.

RegionLast SaleDay-to-Day Changes (Week 40)Sale-to-Sale ChangeClosing IndicatorSale-to-Sale Changes
WeekIndicatorTuesdayWednesdayThursdayUS ¢Euro ¢
Eastern401191-13-10-3-26 (-2.2%)1165-19-8
Northern401228No Sale-32-2-34 (-2.8%)1194-27-14
Southern401164-22+6-4-20 (-1.7%)1144-13-4
Western401202No Sale-21+2-19 (-1.6%)1183-11-2

55,594 bales were on offer, compared with 49,205 bales at the last sale. 15.4% were passed in, comprised of 15.6% in Sydney, 12.3% in Melbourne and 21.6% in Fremantle. Pass-in rates for Merino fleece and skirtings were 14.4% and 26.8%, respectively. The pass-in rate for skirtings was 34.4% on Thursday when larger volumes of poorer types were on offer.

47,058 bales were cleared to the trade.

The year-to-date offering is 84,429 bales less (-5.0%) than at the end of the same week last year (see table below).

This comparison is overstated, as the Easter break was one week later last year.

Offerings are set to reduce over the next three weeks, with the current estimates ranging from 40,000 to 44,000.

The US exchange rate has been mostly in the 103¢ to 104¢ range since the last sale and has remained in that range this week. Financial analysts attributed the increase on Wednesday to a successful bond auction in Spain. This was seen as an indicator of a more optimistic prognosis for Spain. However, this was followed by a more cautious approach the following day prior to upcoming other Euro bond auctions.

Exchange Rates
(Reserve Bank)
Last SaleDay-to-Day ChangesSale-to-Sale
Closing ValueSeason Min & Max
United States 102.83+0.48-0.13+0.84-0.48+0.71 (+0.7%)103.5495.00110.55
Euro77.91+1.41-0.60+0.56-0.33+1.04 (+1.3%)78.9571.5082.27

There were falls in the average AWEX MPGs across all micron ranges, with the greatest falls from 17.0 to 18.5 microns.

Sale-to-Sale Changes in Average AWEX Merino Micron Price Guides (MPGs)
Since Last Sale:
Change ¢ -64-29-39-36-22-14-20-19-22-21-16
Change % -3.8%-1.9%-2.6%-2.5%-1.6%-1.0%-1.5%-1.4%-1.7%-1.7%-1.4%
Since Start of the Season:
Change ¢ -753-665-524-399-289-205-154-126-115-37+63
Change % -32.0%-30.5%-26.6%-22.3%-17.4%-13.1%-10.4%-8.8%-8.3%-2.9%+5.7%
Since Same Week Last Year:
Change ¢ -801-691-578-425-245-124-42+19+10+14+98
Change % -33.3%-31.3%-28.6%-23.4%-15.2%-8.4%-3.1%+1.5%+0.8%+1.1%+9.2%

The skirtings offering continues to be quite mixed, with a significant number of lower types such discoloured, cotty or with high VM wool again on offer; and noticeably so on Thursday. Better types were in good demand, but the poorer types were all discounted. Skirting types again had a higher pass-in rate (26.8%) than fleece types (14.4%)

Crossbreds once again had a better week than Merino types and also did better than New Zealand where the market was quoted as down by 3 to 5%.

Oddments had a mixed week, but generally moved downwards.

Sale-to-Sale Changes in Other Average AWEX Price Guides
Since Last Sale:
Change ¢+30+1+2-2-7
Change %+0.3% 0.0%+0.2%+0.3%-0.4%-1.0%
Since Start of the Season:
Change ¢+81 -30-32-38-53-80
Change %+9.0% -3.5%-4.7%-6.2%-9.4%-9.9%
Since Same Week Last Year:
Change ¢ -24-13-19-57-79
Change % -2.8%-2.0%-3.2%-10.0%-9.8%

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
February 2012July - February This SeasonJuly - February Last Season
Czech Republic3.8%3.6%4.0%-18.3%
Thailand #0.0%0.3%1.2%-77.0%
# Affected by Bangkok floods in October 2011 Change all Countries-10.7%

Sales will be held in Sydney, Melbourne and Fremantle next week, when 41,616 bales are currently rostered for sale. Present estimates for the following two sales (Weeks 44 and 45) are 44,030 and 40,000 bales, respectively; a decrease of 6.3% over the three sale period when compared with last year.

In South African sales, the Cape Wools Indicator was down by 0.3% since last week against a 0.8% depreciation of the Rand against the US Dollar and a 0.1% depreciation against the Euro. 10,580 bales were on offer.