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Weekly commentary on the wool market from AWI trade specialists.
Following a three week break in sales for Christmas, Australian wool auction sales resumed this week, and prices across the board advanced significantly. A wildly erratic but cheapening Australian Dollar (AUD) against all major trading currencies through the course of the recess had buyers eager to accumulate quantity from the outset of selling. Widespread and similar opinions of a dearer wool market were commonplace pre-sale as buyers returned to the show floors. By weeks end, this was exactly what had eventuated.
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A generally strong conclusion to the 2018 year eventuated at this week’s Australian wool auctions. Merino wool of all de-scriptions was highly sought, crossbreds regained some confidence following the erratic past three weeks, whilst cardings are seemingly out of favour once more as the price recovery of recent months seems to have pushed the price up and too far away from manufacturer’s target pricing.
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A tale of two markets this week as the sale results were entirely opposing between the wool breed types at this week’s Australian wool auctions. Merino wool of all descriptions was highly sought, whereas the crossbred sector fell away significantly as the extraordinary gains of last week were outdone by the remarkably large losses of this week. The Australian Wool Exchange (AWEX) Eastern Market Indicator (EMI) closed 11ac or 0.6% lower to 1849ac clean/kg, but a more substantial loss of 1.8% or 24usc were measured in the USD EMI to 1336usc clean/kg. This is somewhat misleading though as the AUD dropped radically (more than 1%) after most of the wool sales had concluded.
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Whilst the general market indicator would seem to signify a rather mundane sale series, the facts showed some very mixed results across differing wool types as the outcome at this week’s Australian wool sales. Confidence remained buoyant for the week, yet some price sensitivity around the Merino types was apparent from the outset, following the perplexingly large gains of the preceding week of selling. Conversely, the fine crossbreds (25 to 28micron) registered some similarly mystifying and extraordinarily large gains, and it was this sector that largely accounted for the EMI holding on.
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A dramatic change of direction in market fortunes this week at the Australian wool auctions. Whilst confidence began to become apparent last week, the conversion to higher price returns confirmed the trend change, and prices surged across all wool types and descriptions this week. What had actually occurred to radically spike the interest back to more favourable outcomes for wool grower sellers remains somewhat a mystery, but commentary from exporters did indicate an increase in Chinese inquiry for new contracts, but what percentage of that enquiry was converted to actual new business remains to be seen in order to continue to strengthen market pricing.
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