Wool Trade

Wool market holds ground to finish slightly up

Terry Sim, August 29, 2014

Wool prices finished the week on a firm note across Australia this week, helped by superfine support and clear demand for lines with good tensile strength.

The national AWEX Eastern Market Indicator finished the week up one cent at 1002c/kg with an average pass-in rate of 10.6 per cent across the Sydney, Melbourne and Fremantle offerings.

AWEX said an encouraging recovery on Thursday helped the indicator recover after briefly dipping to 999 cents on Wednesday, the first time it has been below 1000 cents since early April.

The national offering of 42,999 bales comprised a good quantity of superfine types, AWEX said. Sydney was the first designated “AS” (Australian Superfine) sale for the season and Melbourne hosted a stylish Launceston catalogue.

AWEX said nine lots in Sydney achieved 1PP certification, the highest industry recognition of superlative style and clip preparation. Buyers appeared to be impressed by the superfine catalogue and offered solid support for the more stylish types, even on Wednesday when the market was patchy. The lower specification types were not as keenly sought after and generally softened over the two days.

Price differentials continue to widen in the finer microns (16, 17 and 18) where 100 cent premiums for 40 and 50Newton/kilotex types were not uncommon, AWEX said. In other micron categories the end of the week brought only minor movements when compared to the previous sale, largely due to the firm final day. Fremantle was the exception, falling 25 cents, but without a sale last week these movements spanned over a fortnight.

Merino skirtings were fairly flat during the sale, with prices for best style and length types remaining competitive while the shorter types lost some ground.

Crossbreds wools found renewed support on Thursday and closed with a net gain of five cents for the week, AWEX said. Merino cardings generally closed generally closed in line with the previous week.

In Sydney, AWEX said there was good support for fine wools in the first designated superfine sale for the season, but a very clear distinction between high tensile strength spinner wools of good style of 35-40Newtons/kilotex and lower strength high mid-break lots. Medium to broad microns returned to positive territory posting 10 cent increases.

Premiums were paid for the best style and length Merino skirting types, but all other descriptions eased to close 5-10 cents lower on Thursday.

Crossbred wools met solid competition with 27-30 micron lines very firm and tending in the sellers’ favour. Carbonising locks and stains gained 5-10 cents, while crutchings ended the day fully firm.

Majority of types firmer in Melbourne

In Melbourne, AWEX said the majority of Merino fleece types ended the week on a firm note. The 18-24 micron wools were generally five cents dearer on Thursday, reversing most of Wednesday’s falls. At the finer edge there was little change when compared to a more stylish selection yesterday.

Shorter Merino skirtings sold irregularly on Thursday, especially in the 17-19 micron range, where odd lots were slightly cheaper compared to Wednesday’s more stylish selection. Broader types were firm to unchanged.

AWEX said crossbred wool of 25-26 microns were unchanged and 27-32 micron lines were 5-10 cents dearer on Thursday compared to Wednesday’s mainly Launceston catalogue. Locks and crutchings were generally unchanged.

In Fremantle, AWEX said Merino fleece finished a few cents up on Thursday, while the finer types drifted down 5-10 cents and the fine-medium microns maintained Wednesday’s closing rates. The sale rounded out with some stronger gains for the medium to broader microns with quotes up to 10 cents dearer, AWEX said.

Merino skirtings closed on Thursday with most rates for the lower vegetable matter lots (around three percent) and higher vm (five percent) types similar to Wednesdays close.

There was insufficient crossbred wool to quote. Locks ended Thursday 15-20 cents dearer and crutchings closed 5-10 cents up.

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