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Weekly commentary on the wool market from AWI trade specialists.
Local results at Australian wool auctions this week suggested a weakening wool market has become the trend, but in reality, the market is reflecting the adjustments for currency rather than wool value or demand. The Australian dollar (AUD) is staging somewhat of a recovery as the rate against the US Dollar moved towards the 0.73 level after sitting in the 0.71’s for a week or two. This impacts negatively upon local AUD auction prices. The Australian Wool Exchange (AWEX) Eastern Market Indicator (EMI) fell 27ac or 1.3% to close at 2067ac clean/kg. In USD terms though, the indicator barely moved and just 3usc was lost as that indicator closed the week 0.20% lower at 1501usc clean/kg.
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As was largely expected, it was a rather sedate week for Australian Wool auctions. There was a lot of inactivity due to the wait and see approach that inevitably comes each year around the Nanjing Wool Market (NWM) conference week, as that event usually will provide a strong lead as to the short to medium term market direction and a week or two post conference is required for that direction to be-come apparent.
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On the surface, it appeared there was not much change at Australian wool auction sales this week, but in reality, price and demand was much weaker than what was initially expected at the commencement of selling. Predominantly it was the weaker value of the Australian dollar (AUD) against the US Dollar (USD) that assisted the local prices maintain values. That Foreign Exchange (forex) rate weakened by 1.23% week on week, but at times during selling, that rate was over 1.5% to the advantage of buyers using USD.
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After a minor halt in positive sentiment last week, Australian wool auction prices returned to a more stable and a slightly dearer tendency at this week’s unusually interrupted wool sales. Sales in Melbourne were delayed by one day due to a nearby factory fire denying access to sale rooms. As a consequence, the Melbourne wool sales did not conclude until Friday.
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Australian wool auction prices simply couldn't hang onto the highs set last week. The extensive gains of over 6 per cent in AUD (Australian dollar) terms simply could not be sustained, and the market was cheaper from the first lot put up for auction. At times it was difficult for the auctioneer to actually extract an opening bid. Subsequently a much higher pass-in rate was seen, and in particular, the Sydney market commenced to pass-in rates within the Merino fleece sector as high at 37% initially. The AWEX (Australian Wool Exchange) EMI (Eastern Market Indicator) shifted downward by 48ac/ clean kg or 2.27% to close at 2068ac clean/kg.
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