AUSTRALIA’S wool price benchmark recorded another small loss this week, but the season’s sales topped the $2 billion dollar mark nine weeks earlier than last season.
The Australian Wool Exchange has reported the value of wool sold this week was $59 million ($1523 a bale), taking the season total to $2.017 million ($1602 a bale).
Australian Council of Wool Exporters and Processors executive director Peter Morgan said the early passing of the $2 billion mark was due to higher prices and a greater numbers of bales sold – 14.2 percent more than over the same period in 2020-21.
AWEX said the Australian wool market continued its downward trend, with only the Melbourne auction values posting gains.
“Although the market lost ground for the fifth consecutive week, there were some strong positive movements within certain sectors of the market.”
AWEX said 43,311 bales were on offer nationally, 2037 less than the previous week, and brokers passed in 11.3pc.
“Compared to the previous season, the total amount of bales offered, continues to track higher.
“There have been 196,050 more bales put through the auction system compared to this time last year, an increase of 15.4pc, AWEX said.
“There were different movements in the Merino fleece types within regions.
“In Sydney and Fremantle, the individual Micron Price Guides (MPGs) ranged between fully firm and a fall of 25 cents,” AWEX said.
Melbourne however posted gains of between 3 and 61 cents and by the end of the series the positive and negative movements in the market had the net result of a 2-cent fall in the AWEX Eastern Market Indicator (EMI) to 1367 cents/kg clean.
“Currency continues to play a large role in the recent market fluctuations.
“Due to a weakening of the Australian dollar, when viewed in US dollar terms (the currency in which most of the overseas business is traded), the EMI recorded a larger fall, the EMI fell by US17 cents for the series, closing at US1020 cents,” AWEX said.
“Although the EMI has now fallen for five weeks in a row, the overall fall over this period has not been significant.
“Since Week 36, the EMI has dropped by 46 cents, an average of just over 9 cents per week.”
Australian Wool Innovation trade consultant Scott Carmody said selling commenced the week in a positive atmosphere, with most types and descriptions on offer being sold to the seller’s favour.
“Steady enquiry, some new business written into all destinations and next week‘s lack of auctions all combined to see a slight improvement in wool values.
“That trend continued and accelerated greatly on the finer end of the Merino type spectrum in Melbourne,” he said.
“Wools finer than 18 micron shot 30-60 cents higher under extreme competition, with one European top maker setting a frenetic pace.
“That action was not repeated at the other centres and in fact a cheapening tone ensued throughout, with larger daily volumes than normal hampering activity.”
Mr Carmody said Chinese top makers and indent purchasing companies led the markets buying lists, with strong support from Australia’s local traders.
“The leading buyers of each type sector came to the fore and executed orders promptly and took advantage of some weaker prices where they arose, helping minimize and then stabilize the extent of any falls.”
Next week there will be no sale as the market has a one-week Easter recess. Sales will resume in the week beginning Monday the 25th of April. This sale will be once again restricted to two selling days (Wednesday/Thursday) due to the Anzac Day Public Holiday on the Monday.
Next South Africa wool sale on 20 April
In South Africa, wool sales are set to resume on 20 April after being postponed last week due to a Foot and Mouth Disease outbreaks in the country’s Northwest Province, Kwa-Zulu Natal and Limpopo.
The outbreaks led to a ban on the import cloven-hoofed animals and their products from South Africa to China despite South Africa having the appropriate protocols in place since 2019 in order to continue exporting under an FMD outbreak, as per the OIE regulations for the inactivation of the virus.
Cape Wools SA said wool auctions were initially postponed until more clarity can be obtained from the Chinese authorities on the duration and exact nature of the ban introduced in their announcement of 1 April.
However, despite not yet having a Chinese response to a SA Government submission reiterating the protocol measures, Cape Wools SA general manager Deon Saayman said brokers have said they will offer catalogue 28 on 20 April.
The South African wool industry is still waiting for China to respond to the official submission from its government, highlighting the FMD protocols in place.
Click here to see the latest AWEX Micron Price Guides.