Weekly Wool Prices

Week Ending August 24 (Week 08)

27 August 2012

The AWEX Regional Indicators finished 0.8% lower, on average, at sales in Sydney and Melbourne this week when the US exchange rate rose by 0.3%. It was a much stronger finish to the market after the falls since sales resumed two weeks ago.

The market opened on a further downward note in Melbourne on Tuesday, when the Southern Indicator was down by 17¢ although the US exchange rate had eased slightly. The greatest falls were at the fine end. Wednesday’s market was down slightly for the day, but did show some more encouraging signs that were confirmed on Thursday when the EMI rose by 9¢ in Australian currency and by 17¢ in US currency. The greatest gains were from 19.5 to 21 microns and trade reports described the market as “firm” with a “lot of interest”.

The improving market conditions as the week progressed resulted in the pass-in rate dropping from 16.7% on Tuesday to 9.6% on Thursday.

The EMI is down by 129¢ (-12.0%) since the start of the season and is 323¢ less than in the same week last year.

In other countries, there were no sales in South Africa or New Zealand this week.

Among other fibres, December Futures for cotton rose by 3.0% during the week, closing at 75.21 US¢ on Friday.

Centre Last Sale Day-to-Day Changes (Week 08) Sale-to-Sale Change Closing Indicator Sale-to-Sale Changes
Week Indicator Tuesday Wednesday Thursday US ¢ Euro ¢
Eastern 07949-10-7+9-8 (-0.8%)941-5-21
Northern 07961No Sale-13+7-6 (-0.6%)955-3-19
Southern 07940-17-3+11-9 (-1.0%)931-6-21
Western 07974No SaleNo SaleNo Sale    

34,190 bales were on offer, compared with 40,404 bales last week (when all three regions sold). 12.5% were passed in, comprised of 11.1% in Sydney and 13.4% in Melbourne. Pass-in rates for Merino fleece and skirtings were 13.9% and 11.4%, respectively. 29,923 bales were cleared to the trade.

The year-to-date offering is continues to be down on last year. It is currently 35,306 bales less (-14.7%) than at the end of the same week last year. Forecast offerings for the next three sales indicate that this figure could come back to around -8.5% over this period.

The New Zealand Merino Company also offered 503 bales in Melbourne on Wednesday, of which 53.1% were passed in. 18.9% of the bales were re-offers.

The US Exchange Rate fluctuated during the week before finishing strongly to close the week 0.33¢ (-0.3%) down since the previous Thursday. Financial analysts attributed the rise on Tuesday to a strong demand for Australian currency following the release of the Minutes from the Reserve Bank’s August Meeting. Thursday’s gains were attributed to suggestions from the United States Federal Reserve that they may ease monetary policy to stimulate their economy. Most analysts are predicting that the US Exchange Rate will rise further if this occurs.

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 104.83-0.37+0.35-0.44+0.79+0.33 (+0.3%)105.1695.00110.55
Euro 85.35-0.66+0.12-1.05+0.14-1.45 (-1.7%)83.9071.5085.97


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 ¢ -71-48-38-44-33-25-6-2+1-13-24 
Change % -5.0%-3.6%-3.0%-3.6%-2.8%-2.2%-0.5%-0.2%+0.1%-1.2%-2.3% 
Since Start of the Season:
Change ¢ -238-159-147-131-149-150-142-135-138-162-172-161
Change % -14.9%-11.1%-10.6%-9.9%-11.5%-11.9%-11.6%-11.1%-11.4%-13.3%-14.3%-14.2%
Since Same Week Last Year:
Change ¢  -973-786-631-494-451-386-302-254-212-131-30
Change %  -43.3%-38.9%-34.6%-30.2%-28.9%-26.2%-21.9%-19.1%-16.8%-11.3%-3.0%

Skirting prices were mixed over the first two days of selling, but firmed on Thursday. This was more so in the South where some price rises were reported.

Crossbreds had a good week. They started on a firm note and finished with good rises on Thursday when their average MPGs including rises of 2% to 3%.

Oddments also had a better week, with a strong finish on Thursday. The average AWEX Merino Cardings Price Guide was up by 3.9% for the week.

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 ¢  -48+4+18+12+20
Change %  -5.6%+0.7%+3.6%+2.8%+3.9%
Since Start of the Season:
Change ¢  -128-79-62-58-67
Change %  -13.7%-12.5%-10.6%-11.7%-11.1%
Since Same Week Last Year:
Change ¢  -30-137-111-147-187
Change %  -3.6%-19.9%-17.5%-25.2%-25.9%

# Average Merino Cardings Price Guide

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

Highlights from the Australian Bureau of Statistics export data for June and for 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 Newcastle, Melbourne and Fremantle next week, when 41,528 bales are currently rostered for sale. Present estimates for the following two sales (Weeks 10 and 11) are 45,450 and 40,050 bales, respectively; an increase of 3.7% over the three sale period when compared with last year.

The New Zealand Merino Company is rostered to offer 650 bales in Week 10.

Sales are in recess in South Africa until next week.