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Australian wool prices ease in last sale of season

Sheep Central, July 2, 2021

AUSTRALIAN wool prices eased this week with the prospect of larger offerings in the next two weeks before a three-week auction recess.

The Australian Wool Exchange said the AWEX benchmark Easter Market Indicator fell 45 cents to 1423c/kg clean in the final week of the 2020/21 selling program, with brokers passing in 21.6 percent of the 42,847 bale offering.

Brokers have rostered almost 55,000 bales in the first week of the new season, followed by more than 43,000 bales in the last week before the three-week recess.

“The total offering for the year climbed to 1,782,009 bales, 311,292 more bales than the previous season, an increase of 21.2pc,” AWEX said.

“From the outset buyer sentiment was not as strong as in recent weeks, resulting in price reductions across all Merino fleece microns.

“By the end of the series, the individual Micron Price Guides (MPGs) across the country had fallen by between 22 and 93 cents,” AWEX said.

These losses, combined with reductions in Merino skirtings and most crossbred types, were responsible for the 45-cent drop in the AWEX EMI, but although the market finished on a softer note, the season as a whole has been full of positives, AWEX said.

“The EMI opened this season at 1110 cents and then added a total of 313 cents for the year, an increase of 28.1pc.

“When viewed in US$ terms, the EMI opened at US771 cents and added US299 cents, an increase of 38.7pc.”

AWEX said growers sold wool valued at $2.246 billion for the season, compared to $1.972 billion the previous season.

“The higher prices this season resulted in more wool reaching grower reserves, compared to the 2019/20 season the overall national passed-in rate fell by 5.4pc to 11.6pc.”

AWEX said the highest greasy price of the season was 4900c/kg, achieved by a line of 12.8 micron Merino fleece in May.

Large volumes provide relief to buyers – AWI

Australian Wool Innovation trade consultant Scott Carmody said the very large volumes scheduled for the next two weeks provided relief to the previously existent buying pressure, and allowed more opportunistic purchasing by local exporters, traders and overseas customers this week.

“The US$ equivalent wool prices did not obtain the benefit of the weaker Australian dollar until most of this week’s selling had been concluded,” he said.

“The A:US forex rate only fell Wednesday afternoon and this was after the Australian dollar was actually stronger and traded above last week’s value for most of the auction duration.”

Mr Carmody said wildly mixed price outcomes arose within the Merino fleece, with a range of reductions from 30-80 cents generally.

“Skirtings were less erratic and dropped more controllably throughout to be 45-55 cents cheaper.

“Crossbreds were 10 to 20 cents lower, but cardings bucked the trend somewhat and actually posted small gains in Melbourne and Fremantle, but lost out with 10-cent falls in Sydney,” he said.

“As prices weakened throughout both selling days, the passed-in rates increased exponentially.

“An abnormally wide variation in grower seller decisions was evident, with the three selling centres abnormally out of sync with each other.

“The north had a clearance rate of 86.4pc, south at 77.5pc and the west at 72.4pc,” Mr Carmody said.

“Traders dominated most buying list sectors as Chinese indents and some top makers took it easier as prices fell away.

“European top maker dominated the crossbred segment with a 30% acquisition of those types,” he said.

Next week is the opening sale of the 2021/22 season and this sale is traditionally one of the larger sales on the program, due partly to sellers wanting to sell into the new financial year, taking the first opportunity. There are 54,982 bales rostered nationally.

Click here to read the latest AWEX Micron Price Guides.

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