The Australian Wool Exchange (AWEX) Eastern Market Indicator (EMI) lost 33ac or 2 percent recently to move to 1576ac clean/kg. The EMI in US dollars (USD) was lower again as the 0.6 per cent lower exchange rate helped depreciate that indicator by 2.6 per cent. The USD EMI moved down to a 1082usc clean/kg close for the week, which was a 29usc loss.
Following the exuberance of last week that produced such dramatic price movements, this week’s action was somewhat mundane in comparison, the Australian Wool Innovation (AWI) said. Fluctuations during the week ending January 24 were largely due to centres aligning themselves price-wise as two consecutive days of Sydney not selling with Melbourne had wild differences in levels which needed adjustment, but a softer tone was generally in play as buyers looked for more comfortable levels of trade.
A stand-alone Melbourne sale commenced proceedings recently. Initial softness was the order of the day with the 19 micron and finer Merino wools slipping 15ac, but 19.5 micron and broader Merino types lost 30ac. Fremantle joined in selling on Wednesday and the Merino price drops were larger than Tuesday’s, purely to match Melbourne levels, whilst the Sydney market also commenced selling and had an even greater negative result as that centre had not sold since the previous Wednesday.
Crossbreds were largely softer by 40ac throughout the first two days prior to the wools finer than 27 micron bouncing back by 15ac. Cardings reacted to their own trend to be generally dearer. This was mainly on the back of all locks types appreciating in value by around 50ac in just two days.
The final day of selling produced a noticeable consolidation. Confidence was somewhat restored as a more stable and consistent pricing scenario had re-entered the marketplace. All wool types were very firm to 10ac dearer, with most attention drawn back to the merino fleece sector of 19 micron and broader.
Buying was again dominated by the local Australian-based traders, with the largest operator continuing confidently all week to follow last week’s strong purchasing numbers. Of most significance though was an increase in top maker interest as prices retreated towards more pre-Christmas levels. This was Chinese as well as European first stage processor interest.
Pass in rates continued at historically higher than normal rates again during sale week 30 of the current wool marketing season.
Another reasonably large offering of over 40,000 bales would be for sale next week. However, due to being a public holiday in Australia, sales will only be held two days. China is also basically on shut down for a week to celebrate their lunar New Year.