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Weekly commentary on the wool market from AWI trade specialists.
Price falls greeted all wool types and descriptions from the outset at Australian wool auctions again this week, but the appearance of some solid resistance to further falls on the final day of selling gave some positive intent. Almost all of the losses were recorded on the initial day as buyers reported business was extremely hard to come by. Financing issues of our manufacturing customers are certainly a negative factor for demand at present. Tight cash flow situations in the middle of the supply chain are hampering fluidity of normal business practice.
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Price falls across all types and descriptions were recorded at Australian wool auctions this week, with all selling centres operating. Hardest hit was the superfine Merino (18.5 micron and finer) sector which continues to be negatively impacted by relatively large volumes of low yielding drought effected sale lots and the sparse demand for such wools.
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Following the strong gains posted last week, Australian wool auctions regressed this series to post losses across most of the offering. The best end of the Merino fleece offering and the broadest crossbred fleece were the only sectors remaining unaffected at similar trading quotes. Price levels drifted by a general 30ac to 40ac clean/kg as buyers became more hesitant as the sales progressed and the cheaper levels appeared more prevalent.
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The ingredients of greater confidence and stronger demand were added to the Australian wool auctions this week and the results were stark, positive and immediate. The price gains that eventuated almost halved the losses of the previous three sale weeks. Price gains of up to 80ac clean per kg were commonplace within the Merino sector, whilst many individual lots bearing the better specifications were over 100ac dearer. All other wool types and descriptions on offer were quoted dearer to varying degrees of 15 to 50ac by the end of the week.
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Prices continued to fall at this week’s Australian wool auctions but signs of a slowing to the slide were witnessed by the close of selling. Global economic confidence has filtered through to the wool textile industry with the China - US tariff dispute and gloomy retail conditions in mainland China and Europe cited as the major con-tributing factors. The ongoing impacts associated with the lifting of the South African wool import ban into China have largely been dealt with and accounted for, but still having a big effect on the market is the drought-affected wools the buyers are having to find a home for.
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