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Fine and medium Merino fleece prices lift auction market

Sheep Central, May 21, 2021

Fine and medium Merino prices lifted at auctions this week. Image – AWEX.

SOLID gains in the fine and Merino fleece sectors lifted the Australian wool auction market this week, although prices fell for crossbreds and some broader Merino lines.

The Australian Wool Exchange said although this week’s offering was smaller — the national offering fell by 7914 bales to 41,857 bales — wool on hold has continued to bolster the amount of wool on offer this season.

“This extra wool has meant there has been 173,618 more bales put through the auction system this year, compared to the corresponding sale of the previous season, an increase of 12.7 percent.”

AWEX said finer Merino fleece types attracted strong buyer support this week, pushing prices higher across the country.

“This was reflected in the individual Micron Price Guides (MPGs) for 19 micron and finer, which added between 24 and 54 cents.”

The AWEX Eastern Market Indicator (EMI) gained 9 cents for the auction series, closing the week at 1315 cents/kg clean. Brokers passed in 10.9pc of the offering.

“Only losses in some coarser Merino types and in the crossbred and oddment sectors, prevented the EMI from posting a larger gain,” AWEX said.

Price difference between fine and broader Merino wool is increasing

“As the finer microns continue to increase at larger rates than the medium to broad microns, so too does the price differentials between microns.

“This is again best highlighted by looking at the difference between the Southern MPGs of 17 and 21 micron,” AWEX said.

“This difference has now grown to 1062 cents.

“To put this large gap into perspective, when compared to the same sale of the previous season (Week 47) this difference was only 317 cents, meaning over the past 12 months, the MPG for 17 micron has added 745 more cents than the 21 MPG.”

AWEX said the crossbred wools struggled again this week, recording overall losses for the third consecutive series.

“The MPGs for 26 to 32 micron dropped by between 1 and 18 cents.”

WA wool outperforms eastern offering – AWI

Australian Wool Innovation trade consultant Scott Carmody said most of the price lifts this week came about due to the strength of gains made on the FNF — less than 1pc vegetable matter content — sale lots.

“This of course relates to the lower quantity available of these FNF wools in the eastern states due to the robust seasonal conditions in most of our wool growing regions.

“Also indicative of the present demand favouring FNF wools is that the Western Australian centre significantly out-performed both eastern centre counterparts in price gains for the week on 19.5micron and finer wools,” he said.

“The WA offering has the largest percentage of these lower vm types available.”

Mr Carmody said the heavier VM sale lots were by no means neglected at Australian auctions and prices generally held.

“Just a touch of weakness was apparent, but this was mainly due to the high volumes of similarly specified lots up for sale.

“The discounts for higher VM readings were less harsh as the micron lowered,” he said.

Mr Carmody said Chinese top makers and indents led the buyers list this week, well supported by the large local traders.

“Stronger and growing participation was again evident from the largest European top maker.”

Next week’s national offering increases. There are currently 47,028 bales on offer in Sydney, Melbourne and Fremantle. Melbourne will require three selling days to accommodate the larger quantity.

Click here to see the latest AWEX Micron Price Guides.

Sources: AWEX, AWI.

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