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Good tensile finer wools hold ground at auction last week

Terry Sim, August 18, 2014

Australia’s wool auction market closed easier last week, with mostly finer wool under 19 micron of good tensile strength – 40 Newtons/kilotex – or above, holding ground or lifting in price.

The AWEX Eastern Market Indicator finished the week down 11 cents to 1020c/kg clean after two days selling in Sydney and Melbourne, and on Wednesday in Fremantle.

Australian Wool Innovation’s weekly commentary said the growing number of hard-to-place weaker tensile strength, higher POBm (position of break in the middle of the staple) sale lots meant competition was subdued.

“Exporters reported that new forward sales were hard to come by and the Chinese indent operators were unusually quiet with their prompt buying at auction,” AWI said.

“Albeit, there is still interest on most types across the offering, but levels being bid are at levels at least 20 c/kg clean under what is considered market rate.”

AWI said the better style wool and those above 38N/kt appreciated a further 15-25c/kg clean, while lower strength lots under 19 micron lost about 40c/kg clean over the week. All types over 19.5 microns lost 20-25c/kg clean and crossbred wools, 25-32 micron, generally closed 5c/kg clean lower, with 28 micron lines hardest hit.

Best style and tensile lots keep Sydney prices buoyant

Landmark’s wool risk manager Anthony Boatman said a good offering of best style and high tensile strength wool in Sydney kept prices buoyant on Wednesday.

“Lots with 50N/kt measurements sold at very good premiums.

“Medium to broad Merino wool categories sold at lower levels as the day progressed, with prices closing 5-10 cents a kilogram under last week’s levels,” he said in Landmark’s Wool Weekly report.

“Crossbreds were also generally softer, however, the broader 28 and 30 micron lots sold firm to unchanged.”

On Thursday, only 18.5 micron categories continued into positive territory, he said, though better-style good strength wools were still supported. Losses were only marginal for most fine wools other than 17 micron and finer lines, which dropped 10-15c/kg.

“Medium microns continued downwards with losses of 15-20c/kg.

“Crossbred were generally softer to unchanged,” Mr Boatman said.

Best style, good tensile strength lots lose least in Melbourne

In Melbourne on Wednesday, Mr Boatman said only best style wool of 40N/kt-plus tensile strength maintained previous levels, with most Merino fleece losing about 10c/kg and 23 micron categories down 16c/kg on limited volumes.

“Crossbred fleece was mixed, with lots selling from seven cent slower to two cents higher than the previous week’s levels,” he said.

On Thursday, most 18 micron and finer wools recorded modest gains.

“The 16.5 micron categories were the stand-out with gains of close to 20 cents generally, and up to 30 cents for selected types.

“Most medium wools continued to struggle with losses of 10-15cents common,” Mr Boatman said.

“Crossbreds remained little changed, tending softer.”

18 micron lots quoted up in Fremantle

In Fremantle on Wednesday, 18 micron wools were quoted four cents higher, and 18.5 micron lines were four cents lower than last week. Other fine to medium micron wools sold 10-15c/kg lower.

AWI said merino skirtings were generally unchanged and carding wools lost 5-10c/kg clean over the week.

Sources: AWI and Landmark.

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