Wool Market Reports

Wool prices improve as shipping squeeze looms

Sheep Central, March 8, 2024

PRICES for all Merino fleece and most crossbred wool improved at auctions across Australia this week.

The Australian Wool Exchange said the market recorded a solid overall increase, driven by strong price rises in the Merino fleece sector.

“The first selling day in the eastern centres the market was mixed, but overall positive.

“The market closed the day strongly in the west, setting the east up for a robust second day opening,” AWEX said.

“The AWEX Eastern Market Indicator (EMI) added 4 cents for the day.”

AWEX said the second day of auctions opened dearer as expected, then slowly, but noticeably, climbed as the sale progressed.

“All Merino fleece Micron Price Guides (MPGs) recorded increases (between 7 and 26 cents).

“The 10-cent rise in the EMI, was the largest daily rise this calendar year, and the largest since the 13th of December.”

AWEX said the EMI added 14 cents for the auction series, the largest weekly rise of the 2024 calendar year, and the largest weekly rise in the EMI since the close of the 2023 calendar year, where the EMI gained 35 cents for the series.

“The EMI has now fallen only twice over the last nine selling days, although over this time the market movements have been minimal.

“The EMI has added 17 cents over this period; however, the average daily movement of the EMI was just 3 cents (both positive and negative movements), across these nine selling days,” AWEX said.

“This small average movement highlights the stagnant nature of the market over recent months, making this week’s mini spike welcome news to sellers.”

Shipping squeeze gives market impetus – AWI

Australian Wool Innovation trade consultant Scott Carmody said the price improvement continued with gusto into this week at the Australian wool auctions, but somewhat surprisingly there was no evidence or rhetoric around more new business forthcoming out of overseas interests.

“But more so the smallish volume at auction combined with a shipping squeeze giving the market fresh upward impetus,” he said.

“Given the week long recess for Easter in Australia is not far away, this has forced exporters into the market to complete the March shipments earlier and get a start into their April forward commitments.”

Mr Carmody said the movements of this week emphasise just how on edge and reactive the market is at the moment.

“On one side, there are only small positive signals coming from the major markets for textile specific demand, but on the other hand, financial markets globally are trending strongly towards better conditions.

“This should hopefully transfer to greater confidence and improving consumer spending,” he said.

“The buyers in action this week’s still featured the dominant operators, but one or two mid-range players representing mainly first stage and vertical operators played a more prominent role in securing more of the supply.

“Their interest in locking in a container (110bales) or two each was enough to strengthen the competition and create the price lift.”

Next week’s quantity is forecast to rise, due in part to sellers being encouraged to the market. There are currently 42,390 bales rostered nationally. As all centres no longer move if one centre has a local Public Holiday, next week is an unusual selling pattern. Sydney and Fremantle will sell on Tuesday/Wednesday while Melbourne will sell on Wednesday/Thursday, to accommodate the Melbourne Monday public holiday.

Click here to see the latest AWEX Micron Price Guides.

Sources – AWEX, AWI.




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