Online wool sales falter as physical auction demand wanes on quality

Sheep Central, June 12, 2019

ONLINE wool sales on the AuctionsPlus platform dried up as the price benchmark for Australia’s physical auctions lost ground again last week.

AuctionsPlus sales associate Ed Murphy said no wool was sold on the online platform last week, as most micron price indicators fell in the two centres selling last week – Melbourne and Sydney.

“Some of the reluctance of buyers has been attributed to the quality of wool on offer with a large amount of high vegetable matter content and low strength wool as the current seasonal conditions across most of Australia continue to have an effect.”

The Fremantle auction had a week off due to low supply last week. Reports suggested buying at the start of the first day in Melbourne was slow, but picked up as many buyers are seeking quantity given the reported supply pressures, Mr Murphy said.

“This momentum reportedly slowed on the second day as large quantities of the lower quality drought-affected wool are still being discounted.

“It was also reported that the northern selling centre had strong buyer support for the better style wools, but the poorer styles were heavily discounted,” Mr Murphy said.

This was borne out by the AWEX Eastern Market Indicator falling 7 cents on Wednesday and then a further 16 cents on Thursday to reach 1864c/kg clean with a pass-in rate of 15.5 percent. Mr Murphy said the largest falls coming for 18-20 micron wools. He said large amounts of the finer wool types are being discounted, leading to the Merino wool indicators having mixed results across the three selling centres, but largely ending the week down 30 cents.

“The sentiment at physical auction was reflected online as there were no sales on AuctionsPlus wool this week,” he said.

Mr Murphy said some follow-up rain is desperately needed for much of New South Wales’s central west, north west and parts of Queensland, with these areas looking at a dry winter as no signs of relief are forecast.

Mr Murphy said this week the wool supply remains steady based on previous weeks, with nearly 30,000 bales on offer and the Fremantle selling centre open again.

“With supply pressures and the tough season continuing it is expected the market will continue along the same path as last week.”


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