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Weekly commentary on the wool market from AWI trade specialists.
Extraordinarily strong price rises in the Merino sector featured at Australian wool auctions this past week. Gains of between 3 to 5% were recorded across the 17 to 22 micron area as 3 or 4 of the major buyers exerted extreme purchasing pressure in the suddenly reduced offerings. The 38,000 bales on offer appeared to be short of what the trade demand currently requires, hence the upward spiralling price movements.
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Erratic price movements in the Merino fleece and skirting sectors and stable pricing in the carding and crossbred sector was the trend at Australian wool auction markets this week. The market in the Merino fleece initially struggled to find a level where buyers were happy to support and prices for wools broader than 18 micron drifted downward by 30ac clean/kg. This negative trend failed to last more than a day and prices immediately moved back to the positive direction on the final day and recovered more than half of the previous day’s losses.
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Australian wool markets moved clearly back to the positive this week as auction prices were sensationally dearer. Within the Merino sector gains of well over 100ac clean kg were recorded as buyers hit the market strongly to cover off new and existing open positions. Crossbreds were well sought with just the card-ing segment losing out in an incredibly strong week, build-ing on top of the already historically high price levels.
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Australian wool markets mirrored the downturn that was registered last week but a rather stunning reversal of fortune to the positive on the final day gave cause for some optimism. Despite the rally on the final day of selling, all Merino types were being quoted at a very general 60ac/clean kg lower level for the week. The carding segment became embroiled in the weakening market and recorded a general fall of 40ac/clean kg whilst the crossbred sectors was again far less affected and remained firm to 10ac dearer.
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Australian wool markets were dominated by large adjustments this week in the Merino sector. Unfortunately, this was all to the negative side, flowing on from the weaker conclusion to the previous week’s selling. Price levels were highly variable from the outset on all Merino wools, with large discrepancies apparent on relatively minor difference in tested specifications. By the close of selling, all Merino types were being quoted at a general 60ac clean/kg lower, whilst the carding and crossbred sectors were far less affected and remained unchanged to 20ac cheaper. The AWEX Eastern Market Indicator (EMI) fell away 44ac clean/kg from it’s highest ever recorded level to 1502ac clean/kg. Demand for prompt and short term shipment appears to have been met for the interim. After weeks of highly escalating market levels, the Merino wool values also seemed to hit a price point that just could not convince manufacturers to book forward contracts at these rates. Subsequently prices could not be sustained, as local auction buyers quickly interpreted the radical change in sentiment and reverted to safety mode by just cherry picking the selection at ever decreasing buy in levels.
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