FINE Merino wool prices improved further this week, but broader micron demand was weaker.
AWEX senior market analyst Lionel Plunkett said the trend that has been noted over recent months continued on track at this sale.
“Further strength in the finer microns was somewhat overshadowed by weakness in the broader types and resulted in only a modest 3 cent increase in the AWEX-Eastern Market Indicator.”
The AWEX EMI rose three cents to 1290c/kg clean, and with the $A-US dollar exchange rate at US96.98 cents, the EMI in $US terms was up 8 cents to US998c/kg. Brokers passed in 7.3 percent of the 33,917-bale offering on Wednesday and Thursday.
Mr Plunkett said the public holiday in Melbourne on Friday forced an unusual Tuesday-Wednesday rostering in the south and restricted that centre to its third smallest for the season.
He said the market on Thursday was more upbeat and provided a strong finish to fleece types with all categories closing off the final day ahead.
“Lots with low CVh results (<45) found good support, regardless of micron, and attracted significant premiums to the rest of the market.
“19.5-microns was the pivot point during the sale with finer than this range gaining 20 to 40 cents clean, whilst the broader microns fell 20 cents,” Mr Plunkett said.
“Merino microns have moved in concert for some time now; however, this week was a reflection of the divergence that has been in place since early September.
“Over the past month, the finer microns have firmed slightly, whilst 21 to 23 microns have lost 100 cents, resulting in the Southern Region 19 to 21 micron differential jumping from 18 cents in early August to 126 cents this week.”
Mr Plunkett said the skirting market followed a very similar trend with finer microns holding up reasonably well; however, the medium sector (19.5 and coarser) generally eased 10 to 20 cents compared to the previous week.
Crossbred wools were reasonably limited in supply this week, but managed to post increases for most microns of 10 to 20 cents, the exception being the finer 25/26 range which eased back. Oddments firmed slightly on a limited selection.
Click here to see the latest AWEX Micron Price Guide.