Weekly Wool Prices

Week Ending 1 June (Week 48)

4 June 2012

The AWEX Regional Indicators finished 1.1% lower, on average, at sales in Sydney, Melbourne and Fremantle this week when the US exchange rate fell by 0.3%. The EMI in US currency was 1.0% lower than at the close of last week’s sale.

The market opened in a very mixed manner. FNF wools were in good demand and there was a distinct gradient in demand according to micron. The finest micron types came off sharply, particularly in the South where they had actually picked up last week. Nevertheless, there was some elite wool on offer from shedded sheep at the Wool Factory at Horsham. AWEX reports that 11,700¢ greasy was paid a bale of 12.3 micron wool and 9,500¢ was paid for a bale of 1PP wool that measured 12.6 microns. The falls in demand eased from 18 microns on and AWEX Micron Price Guides (MPGs) were relatively unchanged from 23 microns on. The greater fall in the WMI once again included a catch-up factor from last Thursday when there was no sale in Fremantle.

The EMI was only down by 1¢ in US on Wednesday, but the benefit to growers was lost due to a slightly stronger US exchange rate.

Thursday’s market was relatively unchanged from Wednesday’s for most micron ranges.

The week’s falls in the EMI in both currencies were the smallest since the beginning of May when the impact of the latest Greek crisis began to take effect. The EMI has fallen by 74¢ in Australian currency and by 140¢ in US over the four week period. Crossbred wools, on average, had a slightly better week than Merino wools.

Pass-in rates were less than last week in the East but were higher in the West. The Southern pass-in rate was not much above the season average, whereas the West was well above their season average.

In other countries, there was no sale in South Africa. The Wool Services International fine crossbred (33 - 35 microns) and coarse crossbred (36 - 39 microns) Indicators were both up by 2% in New Zealand on top of last week’s 2 to 4.5 % rise.

Among other fibres, July futures for cotton were down by 6.8% from last week to close at 68.59 US¢ on Friday.

Region Last Sale Day-to-Day Changes (Week 48) Sale-to-Sale Change Closing Indicator Sale-to-Sale Changes
Week Indicator Tuesday Wednesday Thursday US ¢ Euro ¢
Eastern 471104No Sale -6-2-8 (-0.7%) 1096-11+3
Northern 471123No Sale -4-1 -5 (-0.4%) 1118-9+6
Southern 471091No Sale -9-2 -11 (-1.0%) 1080-14+1
Western 471134No Sale -21No Sale -21 (-1.9%) 1113-24-6


39,341 bales were on offer, compared with 33,273 bales last week. 6.5% were passed in, comprised of 14.0% in Sydney, 12.9% in Melbourne and 32.4% in Fremantle. Pass-in rates for Merino fleece and skirtings were 16.2% and 22.7%, respectively. 32,853 bales were cleared to the trade.

The year-to-date offering is 48,925 bales less (-2.6%) than at the end of the same week last year (see table below). Although expected offerings are small for the next three weeks, they are larger than last year. The year-to-year difference is expected to come back to around -1.7% over this period.

The US exchange rate rose early in the week on news that the fiscal conservatives appear to be gaining the upper hand prior to the forthcoming Greek election and on some encouraging expectations about economic growth and investment in China. Financial analysts said that the fall later in the week was associated with poor Australian retail figures in April, a more subdued view of China’s outlook and more Eurozone nervousness.

Exchange Rates
(Reserve Bank)
Last Sale Day-to-Day Changes Sale-to-Sale
Change
Closing Value Season Min & Max
Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Min Max
United States 97.58 +1.09 -0.03 -0.68 -0.69 -0.31 (-0.3%) 97.27 95.00 110.55
Euro 77.61 +0.69 +0.39 -0.11 -0.09 +0.88 (+1.1%) 78.49 71.50 82.27


Sale-to-Sale Changes in Average AWEX Merino Micron Price Guides (MPGs)
Micron 16.5 17.0 17.5 18.0 18.5 19.0 19.5 20.0 21.0 22.0 23.0 24.0
Since Last Sale:
Change ¢ -82-32-25 -15-10 -11-16-11-120-1+10
Change % -4.5% -2.1% -1.7% -1.1% -0.8% -0.8% -1.2% -0.9% -0.9% 0.0% -0.1% +0.9%
Since Start of the Season:
Change ¢ -893 -875 -769-624 -482 -369 -291 -216 -170 -135-34 +58
Change % -33.8% -37.2% -35.3% -31.7% -27.0% -22.2% -18.6% -14.5% -11.9% -9.8% -2.7% +5.3%
Since Same Week Last Year:
Change ¢  -915 -839 -713 -548 -452 -357-253 -183 -138-36 +68
Change %  -38.2% -37.3% -34.6% -29.6% -25.9% -21.9% -16.6% -12.7% -9.9% -2.8% +6.3%


Skirting prices eased again on Wednesday, but generally by lesser amounts than last week. This was followed by some firmness in the market for the lower VM types on Thursday.

Crossbreds had another reasonable week, with the changes in most average slightly up or unchanged.

Oddment types were down in all centres on both days. The AWEX Merino Cardings Price Guide eased sharply in the South on Thursday, bring the average change for the week down to -1.6%.

Sale-to-Sale Changes in Other Average AWEX Price Guides
Micron 25.0 26.0 28.0 30.0 32.0 MC#
Since Last Sale:
Change ¢   -4+6+100-16
Change %   -0.4% +1.0% +1.8% 0.0% -2.6%
Since Start of the Season:
Change ¢  +30-45 -37 -83 -197
Change %  +3.5% -6.6% -6.0% -14.7% -24.4%
Since Same Week Last Year:
Change ¢   +22-35-35 -77-128
Change %   +2.5%-5.2% -5.7% -13.8% -17.4%


# Average Merino Cardings Price Guide

Buyers for China were dominant this week, followed by strong support from buyers for India, Europe and Taiwan.

Current export data and the percentage changes from last year, for the top five export destinations and three other key destinations follow.

Country % Share of Australia’s Wool Exports by Weight of Wool Shipped Year-on-Year % Change in Wool Exports
February 2012 July - February This Season July - February Last Season
China 79.2% 75.1% 75.0% -11.8%
India 6.4% 6.7% 7.1% -16.6%
Italy 3.5% 5.5% 5.5% -12.2%
Czech Republic 4.3% 3.7% 4.0% -17.7%
Taiwan 1.3% 2.4% 2.4% -11.6%
Korea 1.4% 1.5% 1.6% +24.1%
Malaysia 0.7% 1.1% 0.7% +53.6%
Thailand # 0.0% 0.3% 1.2% -79.2%
# Affected by Bangkok floods in October 2011 Change all Countries -10.7%


Sales will be held in Sydney and Melbourne next week, when 28,332 bales are currently rostered for sale. Present estimates for the following two sales (Weeks 50 and 51) are 34,617 and 24,400 bales, respectively; an increase of 21.9% over the three sale period when compared with last year.

Sales are in recess in South Africa until next week.