Wool Market Reports

Chinese wool buying escalates as prices dip in season’s last sales

Sheep Central June 28, 2024

WOOL prices dropped in all categories except some crossbred wools this week in the last sales of the 2023-24 season, led by increased Chinese buying as values fell.

The Australian Wool Exchange said the auction market has closed out the 2023/24 wool selling season softly, with an overall loss, driven again by falls in the Merino fleece sector.

Sales in Fremantle returned to the program, bolstering the national offering.

There were 37,147 bales on offer, 9657 bales more than the previous week, AWEX said.

Brokers reacted to the lower prices on behalf of growers by passing in 11.5 percent of the bales offered.

“There were 1,826,909 bales put through the auction system for the season,” AWEX said.

“This was 49,725 fewer bales than the previous season, a reduction of 2.6pc.

“Buyer sentiment was best described as cautious from the outset, and prices generally deteriorated as the series progressed,” AWEX said.

By the end of the week the individual Micron Price Guides for Merino fleece dropped by between 11 and 49 cents.

“Worth noting was the west had a solid finish on the final day, where all MPGs recorded small increases,” AWEX said.

The benchmark AWEX Eastern Market Indicator lost 18 cents for the series, closing at 1142 cents/kg clean.

AWEX said the EMI opened the 2023-24 selling season at 1126 cents/kg, gaining 16 cents across the season, equating to a 1.4pc  increase.

“When viewed in USD terms, the EMI movement was similar.

“The EMI opened the season at US748 cents and closed the season at US763 cents, a rise of US15 cents, a 2pc gain,” AWEX said.

AWEX said the total dollar amount of wool sold for the season was $2228 million. This was $179 million or 7.4pc less than the previous season, due mainly to the smaller volume offered.

Chinese top makers increased purchases as prices fell – AWI

Australian Wool Innovation trade consultant Scott Carmody said sluggish demand combined with a strengthening AUD shelved for the time being any chance of improvement in values.

Merino prices closed the week generally 25 cents cheaper with all other sectors par to minus 10 cents, he said.

“As prices lowered within the Merino sector, the big three Chinese top makers increased their purchasing rates and saw their combined intake reach 44 percent of all Merino fleece offered.

“The crossbred sector was far more competitive with a larger range of trader interests contributing to keeping prices steadier and even slightly better in some areas throughout selling,” he said.

“The past season could only be described as average, with possibly one of the least fluctuating price ranges seen in many years.

“The low of the season was at the commencement being 1126 cents, with the top weekly closing EMI of 1213 cents in the first week of the new 2024 calendar year,” Mr Carmody said.

“This was an intra seasonal difference of just 87 cents, with a trading range of just 3.8pc around the mean. Just two weeks straddling December 2023 and January 2024 had weekly closing levels above the 1200 cent mark on the EMI.”

The new selling season 2024/25 commences next week, but the scheduling of wool auctions has changed.

Mr Carmody said there will be auctions in the first four weeks of this season will be holding auctions, but Fremantle will not hold a sale in week 3. The traditional large offerings will be somewhat dissipated through the month of July, but what volumes we will see on offer at the end of August following the moved three-week recess will be interesting, he said. There are currently 36,653 bales rostered for sale next week.

Click here for the latest AWEX Micron Price Guides.

Sources – AWEX, AWI.


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