Wool Market Reports

Volatility is new norm in forward and auction wool markets

Michael Avery, Southern Aurora Markets partner, October 30, 2020

VOLATILITY is becoming the new normal in the wool spot auction and forward markets.

The spot market fell nearly 100 cents on Tuesday giving back almost half of the of the hard-fought October gains in two trading days.

Exporters looked to immediately cover some positions around the new spot levels. November traded 19 microns at 1310 cents and 21 microns at 1145 cents, as buyers looked to secure margins even with the macro outlook softening.

Buyers continue to look price certainty over some of their commitments in this sawtooth market.

Activity on the buy side is somewhat muted as volatility along the pipeline has magnified the credit and contractual risks. These risks are being primarily shouldered by the local exporters.

We expect this rollercoaster pattern to continue, with the overall bias dictated by the medium-term macro-economic and health outlook. Rallies should still be viewed as opportunities to obtain some base level cover. Goal setting should be implemented ahead of time especially in the current uncertain times.

The recent spike in infection rates in Europe and the pending US elections will only add to the unpredictability of the market.

Near-term bidding was steady around cash to close the week, but lifted Thursday evening on better off shore enquiry. December 21 micron is trading over cash. There is some moderate interest on the bid side out into the New Year, but little or no indication of growers setting levels to draw the attention of exporters.

Indicative trading levels

19 micron                                                           21 micron

Nov/Dec                                                           1300 cents                                                       1170 cents

Jan/Feb                                                             1270 cents                                                       1150 cents

Mar/Apr                                                            1300 cents                                                       1120 cents

May/June                                                         1300 cents                                                       1100 cents

This week’s trades

November 19 micron                                     1310/1335 cents                                    15 tonnes

November 21 micron                                     1145/50 cents                                        17.5 tonnes

December 21 micron                                     1190 cents                                              11 tonnes

TOTAL                                                                                                                      43.5 tonnes


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