Australian wool prices surge with buyer concern on supplies

Terry Sim, August 12, 2015

Wool sales Landmark1 MelbourneAUSTRALIAN wool prices surged today, helped by a lack of wool in some overseas supply chains, a small national offering and lower Australian dollar.

The Australian Wool Exchange said the AWEX Eastern Market Indicator closed this afternoon at 1300 cents, 42c/kg, on last week’s close of 1258c/kg, the result of a 37-cent rise in the first post-recess sale last week.

About 30,470 bales of wool are being sold this week, well down from the previous offering estimate of 36,150 bales. Only 0.9 percent of bales offered yesterday were passed in. The Australian dollar traded lower today at US72.4 cents.

Online seller Wooltrade is reported to have sold just under 1000 bales of wool so far this week, including almost 700 in just half an hour this afternoon.

AWEX said buyers scrambling for quantity pushed the 21 Micron Price Guide up 80 cents to 1425 cents in Melbourne — its largest daily rise in 13 years. Wool 19 microns and broader were the most sought after, with all MPG’s up by at least 70 cents. Increases of 50-60 cents were typical in the 18.5 micron and finer range.

Merino skirtings were generally 20 cents dearer in Melbourne, crossbreds were 10 cents dearer with 26-30 microns most affected and oddments lifted 10-20 cents, AWEX said.

In Sydney, the market generally lifted 50 cents, with lower spec 18 micron and finer wools up 60 cents and medium to broader lines 50 cents dearer. Merino skirtings 18 microns and finer closed 30 cents higher and 19 micron-plus lines were up 20 cents. Crossbred wools of 26-28 microns rose 15-20 cents, AWEX said.

Industry sources said the strong buying on the physical market today was underpinned by significant Wooltrade purchases during the recent recess by some exporters at prices very firm on pre-recess auction levels. Demand from the forward-selling exporters then fed a 10-20c/kg clean price lift on the first day of the post-recess auctions last week, with the market improving further during the week as significant sales were made to meet India supply shortfalls and Chinese demand.

Today exporters who had sold wool and were seeking to cover their short supply positions and meet forward orders, and increasing Chinese indent interest, drove the market further upwards, reflecting the shortness of the supply chain from auction to mill.

It is believed the recent three-week recess in physical auctions, the smaller than previously estimated national offering this week and lower Australian stocks after the sell-off of stored wool earlier this year has helped build up demand.



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