Caution on forward wool prices justified as spot market dips

Michael Avery, Southern Aurora Wool March 31, 2017

THE cautious note expressed by buyers on the wool forward markets last week was justified as the spot market gave back some of its strong gains of 2017.

The 19 micron index opened the New Year at 1622 cents and completed its run at 1959 cents last week. This week there was a 4 percent retracement to 1885 cents. The 21 micron index gave up 5.5pc, settling near its New Year opening of 1412 cents.

Forward prices held relatively well as the market had factored in the expected pull back from historically high prices, especially on the finer wools. Forwards are still trading in the spring at high percentile bands. The 95 percentile band for 19 micron sits at 1650 cents. In September and October 19 micron traded between 1700 and 1750 cents early in the week. Bidding at the close of the week ranged between 1700 to 1720 cents in September and October, falling to 1650 cents in November.

The 21 micron index closed with spring bidding, ranging between 1360 and 1370 cents, which is just below the 85 percentile band of 1375 cents.

We expect these levels to hold prior to next week’s auction series as buyers gauge the offshore demand and the market looks to find a base.

Trade summary

May                      21 micron                           1420 cents                                             19 tonnes

July                       18.5 micron    Put option 1935 strike 50 cent premium      5 tonnes

Aug                       21 micron       Put option 1350 strike 25 cent premium       2.5 tonnes

Aug                       21 micron                           1400/1405 cents                                10 tonnes

Sept                      19 micron                           1735/1750 cents                                    7 tonnes

Sept                      19.5 micron                        1630 cents                                              2.5 tonnes

Sept                      21 micron                            1375/1395 cents                                 12.5 tonnes

Oct                       19 micron                             1700 cents                                              2.5 tonnes

Total                                                                                                                                      61 tonnes


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