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AWEX EMI 1157 -6
Micron 17 1762 -23
Micron 18 1565 -37
Micron 19 1413 +10
Micron 20 1330 +4
Micron 21 1319 -
Micron 22 1307 +9
Micron 25 723 -9
Micron 26 535 -17
Micron 28 360 -
Micron 30 334 -1
Micron 32 309 +2
MCar 729 +3

In contrast to what had been forecast, compared to last year there has actually been an increase in the volume of Australian wool produced so far this season.

Wool production up

The conclusion of the first four months of testing for the 2023/24 season has seen an increase in production. Based on the Australian Wool Testing Authority (AWTA) key test data as at the end of October 2023, the weight tested for the current season is 2.6% above the weights tested at the same point of last season.

The current increases go against the industry forecast of a 1.1% decrease for the season, but given the very wet conditions last year delaying shearing throughout the first half of the season, the dry of this current season has allowed shearing and therefore testing data to flow more freely, largely without weather interference.

AWTA has tested 107.7 mkg (million kilograms) so far this season, compared to the 105.0 mkg at the same point in time last year.

The most significant changes have occurred to the positive. Both South Australia (+8.7%) and New South Wales (+4.5%) have registered early gains in the cumulative weight of wool presented to the test house so far this season. All other states are within +/-3% of last year’s figures.

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Auction statistics

At auction, the first 16 weeks of selling at the end of week19 (10th November 2023) of the 2023/24 selling season has:

  • Offered 650,511 bales (approx. 116.4 mkg greasy) at auction compared to the 614,602 bales (approx. 110.0 mkg) offered at the same point of the selling season last year. That is 35,909 bales (approx. 6.4 mkg) more or 5.8% more wool offered, or an average of 2,244 bales more wool offered per sale week.
  • Sold 595,023 bales (approx. 106.5 mkg greasy) at auction this season compared to the 531,122 bales (approx. 95.1 mkg) sold at the same point of last year. That is 63,901 bales (approx. 11.4mkg) more or 12.0% more wool sold, or an average of 3,993 extra bales sold per sale week.
  • Clearance at auction rates this season are at 91.5% nationally of all wool offered compared to the 86.4% cleared over the same period of the 2022/23 season. Whilst offerings are also up, the predisposition of growers willing to sell is also far greater and an improvement rate of 5.9% of wools offered being sold.
  • Raw wool value of wool sold this season is A$811 million which is A$23million less than the A$835 million sold by the end of the same week last year. This is a 2.75% year on year reduction of raw wool value sold so far and an average of A$1.44million less value of wool sold each sale week thus far. This must be viewed with the 12.0% more wool having been sold, which indicates the lesser values of the overall wool income/kg.

Wool price steady

  • The 2023/24 season has seen the Eastern Market Indicator (EMI) in AUD basically in stalemate. The 1126ac/clean kg which started the selling season has shifted by just 2ac to 1128ac/clean kg by the end of week 19 (10th November 2023) This is an intra seasonal gain of 0.2% in Australian dollar terms.

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  • The USD EMI has fallen 24usc/clean kg from 748usc/clean kg at the start of the season in July to close week 19 (10th November 2023) at 724usc/clean kg. This is a seasonal loss in USD of 3.2%, underperforming the Australian dollar values and bringing in less GDP value.
  • The 2023/24 season has seen the Western Market Indicator (WMI) in AUD lose 4ac from the season opening price of 1271ac/clean kg to be 1267ac/clean kg by the end of week19 (10th November 2023). This is an intra seasonal loss of 0.3% in Australian dollar terms.

 

This article appeared in the December 2023 edition of AWI’s Beyond the Bale magazine. Reproduction of the article is encouraged.