Will early online wool demand fade again?

Sheep Central, August 28, 2019

ONLINE wool marketer AuctionsPlus this week received modest buying interest prior to the physical auctions starting this week, selling some Merino crutchings and pieces selling on Monday.

AuctionsPlus operations manager Tom Rookyard said early last week the online platform also sold some wool, notably eight bales of 18.4 micron Merino fleece wool for 1024c/kg greasy or 1595c/kg clean.

The lot was offered by Moses and Son and branded R&R/Millara. In addition to this buyer, many other exporters logged onto AuctionsPlus Wool last week, he said.

However, the wool market continued its negative trend last week, albeit with smaller reductions as opposed to the extreme falls that the market had taken previously.

Last week’s retraction was reflected by the AWEX Eastern Market Indicator losing 5 cents and a further 11 cents to close off at 1497 cents or in US dollar terms, US1015 cents.

“Prior to auction there was talk of interest in the market and that business had been concluded in China, and, notably interest online.

“However, on Tuesday activity stopped when the physical auctions opened and all the talk of interest slowed.”

Last week in the physical auction market, combing wools of all descriptions were reasonably well supported; however, it was cardings that took a hit, Mr Rookyard said.

“Looking forward, this week sees an estimated 35,000 bales to be offered nationally, with the West Australian market open after a week’s break.”

Mr Rookyard said the recent announcement that China will impose tariffs on $75 billion worth of American goods, to which US president Donald Trump retaliated with a tweet stating that the US would raise tariffs on $550 billion of Chinese imports is not aiding any global markets.

“This ongoing trade war has battered confidence, with no clear end in sight.

“This does not paint a good picture for a market which relies on China to purchase 70pc of its product,’ he said.

“Notably, very little of that wool actually ends up in the US, but the trade war does not offer much assurance for Chinese financial institutes to lend to Chinese mills.”

Mr Rook=yard said the current retraction in the market does have the small silver lining that growers who opt or are able to hold onto wool, will be well poised in the future when supply is tight and the market heads north again.

“When that is, remains to be seen.”


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