Wool Market Reports

China and India supply contracts help lift wool auction market

Sheep Central, April 26, 2024

AUSTRALIA’S wool auction market lifted this week, led by increases in fine and medium Merino fleece prices.

The Australian Wool Exchange said the strong finish seen in the west at the end of last week, when some of the individual Micron Price Guides (MPGs) finished above the east, carried into the series opening in the eastern centres.

“Buyer sentiment was strong from the start, and it was evident from the first few lots, that solid price increases were on the cards for the day.

“By the end of the first day the MPGs in Sydney and Melbourne had risen by between 9 and 57 cents,” AWEX said.

“In the west, the increases were smaller – up to 10 cents — as the west generally started from higher opening levels.

“With positive movements across all sectors, the AWEX Eastern Market Indicator (EMI) gained 19 cents for the day,” AWEX said.

AWEX said the EMI has enjoyed a small upward run, adding 41 cents across the previous five selling days.

“The last time the EMI had a longer sequence of positive movements was back in June 2022, when the EMI rose for six consecutive selling days.”

AQWEX said the second day the market was more subdued, losing some of the first day gains.

“In the Merino fleece, the MPG movements nationally were between plus 2 and minus 30 cents.

“The EMI dropped 5 cents for the day.”

The EMI closed the week 14 cents higher at 1172 cents/kg clean, with brokers passing in 5.6pc of the 41,788-bale offering.

AWEX said the minimal currency fluctuations this series meant that the upward market movements were driven more by buyer demand rather than currency.

“The EMI also rose in USD terms, closing the week US21 cents higher at 764 cents.”

China and India supply contracts lift confidence – AWI

Australian Wool Innovation trade consultant Scott Carmody said both eastern selling centres achieved handy gains across most types and descriptions, but the western auction centre at Fremantle had prices trading to the buyers’ favour.

“The super fine Merino (finer than 18.5 micron) sector extracted the best of the competition as supply in that area dwindles as we head into the autumn/winter.”

He said the solid market gains in Melbourne and Sydney were made despite the Australian dollar (AUD) strengthening against both the US dollar (USD) and Chinese Yuan (CNY) from the close of selling last sale series.

“A few top making mills in China plus the odd new Indian enquiry for prompt delivery saw some much needed supply contracts being written which helped push better confidence into local buyer and exporter minds.”

Mr Carmody said auctions commenced the week under some intense competition.

“Upon opening, the Merino fleece sector immediately hit levels 25 cents higher.

“Local traders were the keenest of the buying community, but were ably supported by the Chinese top making direct buying representatives,” he said.

“These levels then remained very firm right up till the market closed that evening.

“The later selling Fremantle market though was not as well supported, but prices were firm on the established levels.”

Mr Carnody said the dearer trend stayed true until the second and final day of auctions when prices started to retreat on the local spot prices once the AUD rates against the major currencies pushed even higher.

“The new business that had been evident and driving the market began to disseminate and losses of around 10 cents were posted by the close of selling for the week from the high point of the auctions early Wednesday.”

The AWEX four-week forecast shows the national offering reducing over the coming weeks. Next week there are currently 41,433 bales on offer in Sydney, Melbourne and Fremantle.

Click here to see the latest AWEX Micron prices Guides.

Sources – AWEX, AWI.


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  1. Brendan Mahoney, April 27, 2024

    Last week the EMI rose 14 cents. Get off the grass and report it for what it is. ‘A bloody disgrace’ hardly describes the wool industry today.
    The EMI needs to be nearer $25 before farming Merino sheep is profitable and sustainable.

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