Weekly Wool Prices

Week Ending August 17 (Week 07)

20 August 2012

The AWEX Regional Indicators finished 4.0% lower, on average, at sales in Sydney, Melbourne and Fremantle this week when the US exchange rate fell by 1%.

The market opened on a disappointing note on Wednesday. Last week’s market had flattened out a bit after the first day’s fall. But, this was not maintained this week, when the EMI fell by a further 34¢ on Wednesday despite an easing of 1.17¢ in the US Exchange Rate. The fall on Thursday was less than on the previous day, as was the case in last week’s sale.

The EMI fell by 59¢ in US currency for the week, to 995¢.

The WMI fell by a smaller amount, with a number of the individual MPGs that make up the WMI falling by lesser amounts since the last sale in Fremantle on the previous Wednesday than occurred in the East.

All wool types and micron ranges were affected this week, although there reports of improved demand for some non-fleece types on Thursday. Most average Merino AWEX Micron Price Guides were down by 3.5% to 4.5%, taking the falls since the start of the season to 6.5% to 8% for 17 to 18 microns and from 11 to 12% from 19.5 to 23 microns.

The EMI is 314¢ below the same week last year, while the WMI is 285¢ below its equivalent value.

General comments from the trade indicate that China is very quiet and that wool is difficult to sell at the moment.

Not surprisingly, growers responded to the market falls with a lift in the pass-in rate to above 20%.

In other countries, sales resumed in South Africa, where the Cape Wools Indicator was down by 7.2% since the last sale in early June. In New Zealand, the Wool Services International crossbred Indicators finished strongly to be up by 3% to 4%, continuing their better start to the season.

Among other fibres, December Futures for cotton were down by 0.4% during the week, closing at 73.30 US¢ on Friday.

Centre Last Sale Day-to-Day Changes (Week 07) Sale-to-Sale Change Closing Indicator Sale-to-Sale Changes
Week Indicator Tuesday Wednesday Thursday US ¢ Euro ¢
Eastern 06995No Sale-34-12-46 (-4.6%)949-59-42
Northern 061007No Sale-31-15-46 (-4.6%)961-60-42
Southern 06991No Sale-42-9-51 (-5.1%)940-65-47
Western 06998No Sale-24No Sale-24 (-2.4%)974-36-24

40,404 bales were on offer, compared with 50,603 bales last week. 23.1% were passed in, comprised of 19.6% in Sydney, 24.1% in Melbourne and 29.5% in Fremantle. Pass-in rates for Merino fleece and skirtings were 26.3% and 18.9%, respectively. 31,068 bales were cleared to the trade.

The year-to-date offering is 32,394 bales less (-15.9%) than at the end of the same week last year. Forecast offerings for the next three sales indicate that this year’s offerings will start to move closer to last year’s volumes over this three week period.

The US Exchange Rate eased during the week, although it is still being maintained at its present “higher” levels by the inflow of sovereign funds from other countries. Most analysts appear to of the view that the higher exchange rates will be maintained at least for the short to medium term.

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 105.93-0.43-0.34-0.40+0.07-1.10 (-1.0%)104.8395.00110.55
Euro 85.63+0.26-0.81-0.10+0.37-0.28 (-0.3%)85.3571.5085.97


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 ¢ -68-45-56-44-48-49-44-38-40-46-52 
Change % -4.5%-3.3%-4.2%-3.4%-3.9%-4.1%-3.9%-3.4%-3.6%-4.1%-4.7% 
Since Start of the Season:
Change ¢ -167-111-109-87-116-125-136-133-139-149-148 
Change % -10.5%-7.8%-7.9%-6.6%-9.0%-9.9%-11.1%-11.0%-11.4%-12.3%-12.3% 
Since Same Week Last Year:
Change ¢   -750-570-463-439-382-302-262-199-112 
Change %   -37.1%-31.5%-28.3%-27.9%-25.9%-21.9%-19.6%-15.7%-9.6% 

Skirting prices followed those for fleece types, with sharp falls. There was some improvement in demand for the lower VM types on Thursday. Crossbred average MPGs all moved down by varying amounts that were similar, on average, to those for Merino types. Prices for oddments eased sharply on Wednesday, particularly in the South where the Merino Cardings Price Guide fell by 72¢.

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 ¢  -20-27-20-30-57
Change %  -2.3%-4.7%-3.8%-6.6%-10.0%
Since Start of the Season:
Change ¢  -80-83-80-70-87
Change %  -8.6%-13.1%-13.7%-14.2%-14.5%
Since Same Week Last Year:
Change ¢  +33-142-123-154-216
Change %  +4.0%-20.5%-19.6%-26.6%-29.5%

# Average Merino Cardings Price Guide

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

Highlights from the Australian Bureau of Statistics export data for June and the July to June period 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
June 2012 July - June This Season July - June Last Season
China 76.1%75.8%74.4%-8.4%
India 10.1%6.9%7.7%-18.8%
Italy 1.9%4.7%5.1%-17.3%
Czech Republic 3.1%4.0%4.1%-12.9%
Taiwan 1.5%2.2%2.5%-20.5%
Korea 1.2%1.4%1.2%7.5%
Malaysia 1.1%1.0%0.7%20.2%
Thailand # 0.0%0.2%1.0%-82.9%
# Affected by Bangkok floods in October 2011 Change all Countries -10.1%

Sales will be held in Sydney and Melbourne only next week, when 38,230 bales are currently rostered for sale. Present estimates for the following two sales (Weeks 09 and 10) are 40,340 and 46,000 bales, respectively; an increase of 8.7% over the three sale period when compared with last year.

The New Zealand Merino Company is rostered to offer 450 bales in Melbourne next week and 1,500 bales in Week 10.

In South African sales, the Cape Wools Indicator was down by 7.2% since the sale in early June against a 2.5% appreciation of the Rand against the US Dollar and a 4.0% appreciation against the Euro. 12,778 bales were on offer.