The price premium for free, better style wool of good tensile strength with no unscourable colour and low vegetable matter content was growing, according to AuctionsPlus market operations manager Tony Benson.
“Over the last few weeks prices have remained firm for 40 Newton/kilotex or better wool with no unscourable colour or cott and two percent vegetable matter or less,” Mr Benson said.
“You can say the cream rises to the top but the gulf between these wools and the rest is growing.”
Wool quality should give market resilience
Mr Benson said the physical wool market meets spring after a 16-cent slip in the AWEX Eastern Market Indicator since the start of July.
“The online wool sale held in the recess looks to be the bright point so far with some solid prices right across the board and that was backed by a five cent rise the very next week to a seasonal high point of 1031.
“We are entering into a time that wool production will peak and there are questions on what the market will do when supply starts coming in full swing,” he said.
“I am confident that the market will be resilient with increasing levels of wool quality (in tensile strength and colour) courtesy of the good season this year, give or take Queensland,” he said.
“The one area where the market continues to perform well is for the lots endowed with high specifications.”
WoolTrade top lot sells for 2086c/kg clean
Mr Benson said wool between 15 and 18 microns sold on Wooltrade last week. The lowest tensile strength wool was 35 Newtons/kilotex, but most were above 42 and up to 48.
“As an example, our top lot for the week was offered by Landmark NSW and measured 15 microns, 0.7pc vegetable matter, 76pc yield, 72mm and 48N/kt of strength.”
The lot branded Prairie Home came from New South Wale’s New England area and sold for 2086c/kg clean.
“There is just 80-90 cents now between 18 and 21 micron merino fleece, so one must ponder which one will move first.
“The preference is for the finer wools to go up but as we roll through the next few months there may be a good selection of fine fleece for the buyer to pick from whilst 20-23 micron fleece becomes medium rare,” Mr Benson said.
“Some 38pc of the 15,558 bales listed on Wooltrade is 18 microns or finer, a growing number in the last two years.
“On the positive side, the Nanjing Wool conference is held next week on September 12 and exporters sometimes secure new business whilst testing market confidence for future sales at these events.
“Look for some market movements around that time.”