AUSTRALIAN wool prices fell to their lowest benchmark level since 2002 this week as demand remained largely limited to China.
Australian Wool Exchange senior market analyst Lionel Plunkett said the benchmark Eastern Market Indicator, at 858c/kg clean, is at its lowest point since 2002.
Although he said due to the strengthening Australian dollar, when viewed in US$ terms, the losses this week were not as severe, with the EMI falling by US37 cents to US668c/kg, a 5.5 percent reduction.
Mr Plunkett said Fremantle returned to the auction roster after a one-week break in sales this week, pushing the national quantity up.
There was 28,599 bales on offer nationally, 8511 bales more than in the previous week.
“Compared to the corresponding sale of the previous season, there has been 3499 more bales put through the auction system, an increase of 1.6pc,” Mr Plunkett said.
“Sales opened in the east and it was immediately apparent that the market was experiencing further price reductions.
“The individual Micron Price Guides (MPGs) in the eastern centres lost between 34 and 85 cents for the day, with all microns suffering losses,” he said.
“The Fremantle region was still to realise the reductions from the previous series, so the losses in the west were greater, between 41 and 125 cents.
“The AWEX EMI lost 46 cents for the day, a 5pc drop,” he said.
“The second day prices continued to fall, not at the same rate, however.
“The eastern MPGs lost a further 9 to 43 cents.”
Mr Plunkett said the EMI fell by another 25 cents on Wednesday, closing the series at 858c/kg clean, a weekly fall of 7.6pc.
“The crossbred sector also recorded heavy losses this series and 26 micron (wool) was the most affected, with the Sydney and Melbourne MPGs falling by 119 to 154 cents.
“The 32 micron (wool) lost another 30 cents, pushing its record low (since AWEX records began in 1995) further down to 190 cents,” he said.
Demand this week came mainly from China with little interest from Europe or India.
Next week the national offering reduces to 23,120 bales. Due to small quantities Sydney and Fremantle only require one-day sales, Sydney selling Tuesday and Fremantle selling Wednesday, Melbourne will be in operation over both days.