Coronavirus pandemic hits AuctionsPlus Wool sales

Sheep Central March 18, 2020

ONLINE wool sales slumped last week as the Australian wool market finally reacted to the global pandemic of the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic.

AuctionsPlus Wool project manager Tom Rookyard said global economies and share markets have been falling of the past few weeks; however, prior to this the wool market has held its ground.

The market retraction was reflected by the AWEX Eastern Market Indicator losing 39 cents on Tuesday, and a further 2 cents on Wednesday and Thursday last week to close off at 1521c/kg clean. The West Australian indicator lost 19 cents and 27 cents across the week to close off at 1616c/kg clean.

“The stepping back of the market saw buyers not utilise AuctionsPlus Wool, with only 22 bales sold online,” he said.

The 19 micron wool sold to a top of 950c/kg greasy or 1678c/kg clean online, and 20 micron wool sold to 1105c/kg greasy or 1697c/kg clean.

A line of 24 micron crossbred weaners’ fleece sold to a top of 556c/kg greasy or 819c/kg clean.

“Looking forward, all three selling centres, Sydney, Melbourne and Fremantle, are open with an estimated 47,000 bales on offer this week.

“Longer term, looking forward the wool and to a wider extent the sheep market is still in a fragile space, the supply of wool in Australia will be on a downward trend after such large numbers of stock were killed and such poor lambing rates in 2019,” Mr Rookyard said.

“However, the coronavirus has led the world into unprecedented times with global travel bans and whole sections of countries being quarantined.

“Closer to home, panic buying the closure and postponing of sporting leagues, and widespread cancelations leave an air of uncertainty,” he said.

“To predict how this virus will impact Australian agriculture is extremely difficult.

“However, any tightening of global borders and reducing in global confidence will impact a national and industry that exports heavily, like Australian wool.”


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