Weekly Wool Prices

Week Ending 25 May (Week 47)

28 May 2012

The AWEX Regional Indicators finished 1.4% lower, on average, at sales in Sydney, Melbourne and Fremantle this week when the US exchange rate fell by 2%. The change in the EMI in US currency was -3.5%.

This week’s market opened in a similar environment to last week, with low global economic confidence, soft demand and falling prices in US currency that were cushioned by a further devaluation of the US exchange rate. There continues to be significant quantities of cotted and discoloured wool.

The sales opened on Wednesday with an easing across all Merino micron ranges apart from 16.5 micron area in the South, where some good wool was on offer. The greater fall in the WMI included a “catch up” amount for the fall in the East on the previous Thursday when there was no sale in the West.

There was a further easing on Thursday this week, except again for the 16.5 micron wools in Melbourne. There were also some small gains in the 17.0 and 17.5 Micron Price Guides (MPGs) that were not replicated in Sydney. The overall falls were not so evenly distributed on Thursday, with the 18.5 to 20 micron wools most affected.

Crossbred wools, on average eased by similar amounts to Merino wools.

Pass-in rates were less than last week, but were still high by comparison with earlier weeks.

The EMI and WMI followed the pattern of recent weeks, with the spot values less than in the same week last year (-280¢ and -209¢ respectively), but with the season averages higher than last year (by 106¢ and 132¢, respectively).

In other countries, the Cape Wools Indicator was down by 2.5% while Rand by 5.7%; and the Wool Services International fine crossbred (33 - 35 microns) and coarse crossbred (36 – 39 microns) Indicators were up by 2 to 4.5 % in New Zealand.

Among other fibres, July futures for cotton were down by 5.6% from last week to close at 73.62 US¢ on Friday.

Region Last Sale Day-to-Day Changes (Week 47) Sale-to-Sale Change Closing Indicator Sale-to-Sale Changes
Week Indicator Tuesday Wednesday Thursday US ¢ Euro ¢
Eastern 461121 No Sale -10-7 -17 (-1.5%) 1104-39-19
Northern 461144No Sale -14-7 -21 (-1.8%) 1123 -43 -22
Southern 461103No Sale -5 -7 -12 (-1.1%) 1091-33 -15
Western 461148No Sale -14 No Sale -14 (-1.2%) 1134-36 -17

33,273 bales were on offer, compared with 39,578 bales last week. 18.1% were passed in, comprised of 17.5% in Sydney, 15.4% in Melbourne and 27.4% in Fremantle. Pass-in rates for Merino fleece and skirtings were 17.6% and 28.7%, respectively.

27,265 bales were cleared to the trade.

The year-to-date offering is 54,103 bales less (-3.0%) than at the end of the same week last year (see table below). The year-on-year difference will move back to around -2% over the next three sales if the expected volumes for sale eventuate. The forecast volumes are 21.8% above the same period last.

The difference will be partly due to the lower volumes this time last year as growers had already rushed wool onto the market to take advantage of the very good prices. It may also be partly due to growers reacting to the current global and wool market circumstances. The greater volumes will create additional pressure in the current market.

The US exchange rate continues to fall back for all the familiar reasons while the ongoing uncertainty continues in Greece. There is now increasing speculation as to whether Greece will leave the Eurozone.

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 99.58 -1.04 +0.71 -1.48 -0.19 -2.00 (-2.0%) 97.58 95.00 110.55
Euro 78.14 -1.08 +0.50 -0.44 +0.49 -0.53 (-0.7%) 77.61 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 ¢ +10 -23 -14 -13-28 -36-30-25-16-6+7+9
Change % +0.5% -1.5% -1.0% -0.9% -2.1% -2.7% -2.3% -1.9% -1.2% -0.5% +0.6% +0.8%
Since Start of the Season:
Change ¢ -811 -843 -744 -609 -472 -358 -275 -205 -158 -135-33 +48
Change % -30.7% -35.8% -34.1% -30.9% -26.4% -21.6% -17.6% -13.8% -11.0% -9.8% -2.6% +4.4%
Since Same Week Last Year:
Change ¢  -883 -814 -724 -554 -439 -311 -219 -150 -118 -15 +87
Change %  -36.9% -36.2% -34.7% -29.6% -25.2% -19.4% -14.6% -10.5% -8.6% -1.2% +8.2%

Skirting prices again came under considerable pressure on Wednesday, particularly among the heavy fault and poorer type wools. The better style types held their ground on Thursday, while other types remained under pressure.

It was a mixed week for crossbreds, with the average AWEX MPGs relatively unchanged at the fine end, but down for 32 microns due to a significant fall in the North over the last two weeks.

Oddment types were down in all centres on both days, with locks the least affected. The AWEX Merino Cardings Price Guide eased by around 10¢ on both selling days.

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 ¢   +2-12-4-15-20
Change %   +0.2% -1.9% -0.7% -3.0% -3.1%
Since Start of the Season:
Change ¢ +120 +34-51 -47 -83 -181
Change % +13.4% +3.9% -7.5% -7.6% -14.7% -22.5%
Since Same Week Last Year:
Change ¢    -43-48 -78-101
Change %    -6.4% -7.8% -13.9% -13.9%

# Average Merino Cardings Price Guide

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

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, Melbourne and Fremantle next week, when 40,838 bales are currently rostered for sale. Present estimates for the following two sales (Weeks 49 and 50) are 26,197 and 34,600 bales, respectively; an increase of 21.8% over the three sale period when compared with last year.

In South African sales, the Cape Wools Indicator was down by 2.5% since last sale against a 5.7% depreciation of the Rand against the US Dollar and a 3.1% depreciation against the Euro. 8,271 bales were on offer.