WOOL buyers stepped back from online sourcing last week as the physical auction market was hit harder by the growing coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic.
AuctionsPlus Wool project manager Tom Rookyard said only 22 bales were sold online last week.
Mr Rookyard said global economies and share markets have been faltering over the past few weeks; however, prior to this, the wool market has held its ground.
“This market retraction was reflected by the AWEX Eastern Market Indicator losing 39 cents on Tuesday last week and a further 2 cents on Wednesday and Thursday to close off at 1521c/kg clean.”
The West Australian indicator lost 46 cents across the week to close off at 1616c/kg clean.
On AucrtionsPlus Wool, a seven-bale line of 19.9 micron wool with a yield of 56.6pc, average staple length of 64, tensile strength of 53 Newtons/kilotex and 1.1pc vegetable matter content sold for 950c/kg greasy, or 1678c/kg clean.
A three-bale line of 20.4 micron AAAM made 1105c/kg greasy, or 1697c/kg clean. The line yielded 65.1pc, was 69mm long, with a tensile strength of 43N/kt and had 0.7pc vm.
A 23.2 micron line of AAASM with a yield of 63.2pc, length of 99mm, tensile strength of 30N/kt and 0.7pc vm sold for 994c/kg greasy, or 1573c/kg clean.
A seven-bale line of 24.2 micron AAAFXLMS sold for 556c/kg greasy, or 819c/kg clean. The line had a yield of 67.9pc with 1.2pc vm.
Mr Rookyard said an estimated 47,000 bales would be offered at the three auction centres at Sydney, Melbourne and Fremantle this week.
“Longer term, the wool, and to a wider extent, the sheep market, are still in a fragile space.
“The supply of wool in Australia will be on a downward trend after large numbers of stock were killed and there were such poor lambing rates in 2019,” he said.
“However, the coronavirus has led the world into unprecedented times, with global travel bans and whole sections of countries being quarantined.
“Closer to home, panic buying, the closure and postponing of sporting leagues and widespread cancelations leave an air of uncertainty,” he said.
“To predict how this virus will impact Australian agriculture is extremely difficult.
“However, any tightening of global borders and reducing in global confidence will impact a national industry that exports heavily like Australian wool.”