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Weekly commentary on the wool market from AWI trade specialists.
Australian wool auction sales went into freefall this week with almost 10% of the value wiped off the wool offering, both in AUD and USD. A total lack of confidence, brought on by the slowing global economy, saw the majority of buyers desert the local auction markets. No sector was left untouched as prices plummeted from the outset. Quite incredibly it was this same sale last year that the Australian wool market hit the record EMI of 2116ac.
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Australian wool auction sales resumed this week, and the results were largely negative. Apart from the carding sector, all other wools on offer were hit hard and reduced in price by varying degrees of between 4% and 7%. The fine/medium (19 to 22 micron) Merino sectors suffered the greatest falls, which is indicative of the concern our manufacturers have of global demand as this type area is considered the predominant types of our largest customer - China.
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As Australian wool auction sales drew to a close for the first half of the 2019 calendar year, all wools on offer produced the goods and finished strongly and dearer. Some fresh forward sales for relatively prompt shipment from mainly China, and a modicum from other destinations, injected the much needed confidence to keep the market bustling in a positive direction leading up to the annual three week Winter recess in sales. Whilst quantities of concluded business were reported to be at “minimal” levels and prices just at market, it certainly did aid the physical market.
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This week saw the commencement of the new 2019/20 wool selling season and it was largely positive results. Nearly all types and descriptions of offer gained value and generally by a minimum of 20ac clean/kg. Whether or not this is a trend that is changing re-mains to be seen, but sentiment has clearly moved from gloomy to buoyant in the space of just the one week. Confidence is key to the wool market’s fortunes and that is present at the moment, but conversion to fresh forward business in volume needs to be achieved for a complete stabilization of the supply chain.
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This week saw the final sales of the 2018/19 season take place and price falls were again the results at Australian wool auctions. The positive signs that emerged at the end of the previous weeks selling had swiftly dissipated by the time it came for sales to commence. The AUD had strengthened against the USD (+1.4%) and CNY (+1.6%) giving cause for our overseas buyers to remain on the side-lines. The current demand through the entire wool supply chain, remains the predominant factor for the market doldrums. Demand for the raw, greasy product is presently described as being subdued at best.
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