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Weekly commentary on the wool market from AWI trade specialists.
The return of a positive trend to Australian wool auction markets accelerated significantly during this week’s sales. In a staggering week of good fortune for wool growers who were selling, most Merino wool types on offer were verging on a full 100ac clean/kg dearer by the close of selling, with some individual lots advancing 150 to 200ac. Crossbreds were by no means neglected either, as these wools all headed 50 to 70 ac higher. The AWEX EMI (Australian Wool Exchange- Eastern Market Indicator) gained 80ac clean/kg to close at 1818ac clean/kg, equalling the record level set in January of this year.
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The market downturn of the past two weeks seems to have halted across most types on offer this week at Australian wool auctions. Weak market conditions were witnessed initially on the first day of selling, but this was quickly followed by a solid consolidation. Prices then commenced to rise towards the close, particularly across the FNF (Free to Nearly Free - less than 1% vegetable matter) Merino fleece wools of all qualities. Cardings remained in a negative trend though, but the rapid falls of past sales were largely contained to relatively minor daily losses. The AWEX EMI (Australian Wool Exchange Eastern Market Indicator) registered a 6ac clean/kg reduction for the week to close at 1738 ac clean/kg. In USD the EMI remained fully firm at the same level of 1398usc clean kg.
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This week saw the volume sold at Australian wool auction markets for the current season reach beyond the 1 million bale mark, but unfortunately the real news was the retraction of price levels across most wool types. Merino fleece wools managed to hold on reasonably well, but all other sectors of the market were adversely affected. The AWEX EMI (Australian Wool Exchange - Eastern Market Indicator) registered a 57ac reduction for the week to close at 1744 ac clean/kg. In USD the EMI fared better but still slipped 36usc lower to 1398usc clean kg.
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Australian wool auction markets generally consolidated around ruling price levels this week after the strong gains of the opening sale. Some handy advances did continue on super fine (16.5u to 17.5u) and ultra fine (finer than 16.5u) Merino wools, but on the whole, the market eased by around 20ac clean/kg in Australian dollar (AUD) terms. Significantly though, the market was largely unchanged to slightly dearer when expressed on a US dollar (USD) basis. This is significant given the world largely buys wool in this currency and therefore this is a true reflection of the market. The AWEX EMI (Australian Wool Exchange Eastern Market Indicator) eased back 17ac for the week to close at 1801 ac clean/kg, but actually gained 3usc to finish at 1434usc clean/kg.
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In a ground-breaking opening Australian wool auction for 2018, the record AWEX EMI (Australian Wool Exchange- Eastern Market Indicator) set at last year’s end, was smashed and an unprecedented price set for the 13th time this season. The Christmas and New year break did nothing to slow down the surging finish of 2017, and resulted in healthy gains recorded for all segments of wool on offer as buyers competed to secure lots after the 3-week recess.
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