Shorter wools moving in limited online market business

Terry Sim, July 31, 2020

SHORTER fleece wool, pieces, bellies, crutchings and locks drew the most buyer interest in AuctionsPlus online sales over the last week, reflecting demand for semi-worsted products.

AuctionsPlus commercial manager – digital services Tom Rookyard said traditional fleece wool met with lacklustre demand in its July recess sale on Thursday.

“Reports suggest knitwear wool is drawing demand at the retail end, whilst COVID is still impacting the sale of fleece wool,” he said.

In the last week of the three-week recess in physical auction selling, AuctionsPlus offered 1409 bales in its live auction sale, with the usual buyers logging in.

Mr Rookyard said wool brokers Moses and Son and Elders offered wool from 50 different grower brands, which were met with two distinct levels of demand.

“Shorter fleece wool, pieces, bellies, crutchings and locks drew buyer interest, while traditional fleece wool was met with lacklustre demand.”

He said highlights from Thursday’s sale included a 91mm long 18 micron Merino weaners’ fleece wool with 0.3 percent vegetable matter content that sold for 896c/kg greasy. The lot was branded NW-BY and offered by Elders.

A 14.5 micron Merino lambs fleece branded Goongirwarrie and offered by Moses and Son sold for 896c/kg greasy.

Merino pieces were topped by a 16.9 micron line offered by Elders and branded Manor Estates that sold for 799c/kg greasy. An 18.4 micron line of Merino bellies sold for 541c/kg greasy. This lot was branded Forest Lodge and sold by Moses and Son.

Online offer board demand favoured shorter wools

Mr Rookyard said the traditional ‘Room 2’ of shorter fleece wools, pieces, bellies, crutchings and locks also drew buyer interest on the AuctionsPlus offer board.

He said during the three-week physical auction break, buyers sporadically looked to the online AuctionsPlus offer board for wool, buying 144 bales. A 16.8 micron Merino lambs pieces line branded Mt Bepcha and offered by Elders sold for 836c/kg greasy. An 18 micron Merino bellies sold for 620c/kg. It was branded K/Narrawa and sold by Australian Wool Network.

Mr Rookyard said there wasn’t a huge amount of business conducted before the resumption of the physical auctions next week.

“This doesn’t bode well for the market.”

Endeavour Wool Exports trading manager Josh Lamb said the online sales reflect the limited market demand is confined to semi-worsted products such as knitwear and activewear garments.

“The demand is all in that shorter section of the wool clip, because it is going into the only products that are moving.

“There is little or no demand in weaving or worsted types, which is a reflection of what is going on around the world with people not walking offices on a daily basis, I would imagine.”

Mr Lamb said the higher the Australian currency has moved during the recess, the harder business has become, because US$ prices aren’t moving up with it.

“That’s the problem we face next week, we’ve got a currency that has gone up almost four percent since auctions finished, and that’s where the trouble will be next week in the market.”

Physical auctions to resume with big offering

In his weekly newsletter, National Council of Wool Selling Brokers of Australia executive director Chris Wilcox said there are 45,471 bales rostered for sale next week, which is the largest weekly offering since the first week of March this year.

“It is, however, in line with previous years for the first sale after the July recess.

“It compares with 41,543 bales offered in the first sale back after the recess in August 2019, with 49,415 bales offered for the week in August 2018, 52,359 bales offered for the week in August 2017, 52,100 bales offered for the week in August 2016, 41,832 bales offered for the week in August 2015, and 45,463 bales offered for the week in August 2014,” he said.

“Even so, it will be a challenge for the market to digest this volume of wool.”

Mr Wilcox said the Australian dollar has also increased by US2 cents against the US dollar and is up 3pc against the Chinese renminbi since the recess began, which may hold back price levels. The Australian dollar is a little weaker against the Euro.

He said the resumption of auctions comes at a worrying time with COVID-19 outbreaks in Sydney and Melbourne.


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Your comment will not appear until it has been moderated.
Contributions that contravene our Comments Policy will not be published.


Get Sheep Central's news headlines emailed to you -