Sheep in field

And they’re off for the 2023/24 wool season, and all categories (including crossbreds) have jumped strongly. A fair offering sold well as pass-in rates were low in an improving market.

Improvement in all fine and broad micron price categories (MPGs) was evident across all three markets. The Eastern Market Indicator (EMI) has finished the first week of the 2023/24 season 38ȼ higher to 1162ȼ/kg, which, when expressed in US dollars, now sits at 777 USȼ/kg (up 29 US ȼ).

Demand in Sydney was strong as pricing improved across all categories and clearance levels were high, the pass-in rate this week averaging 3.7%.  17.5 MPG improved by 72ȼ to 1720ȼ/kg and 19.5 MPG bounced 58ȼ to 1415ȼ/kg.  Melbourne followed suit with positive price movements across fine and broader categories.  The best on ground was 19MPG up 77ȼ to 1479ȼ/kg and 16.5 MPG jumped back above the 2000ȼ/kg mark to finish at 2043ȼ/kg (an improvement of 58 ȼ). 

Across the Nullabor, pre-sale withdrawals (32.8% on Tuesday and 20.5 % Wednesday) helped support pricing in the first week of the market. The Western Market Indicator (WMI) was up 49ȼ to 1320ȼ/kg in what was a positive week.  18MPG jumped 26ȼ to 1600ȼ/kg and 21MPG increased 69ȼ to 1321ȼ/kg. 

In what was a refreshing change of pace for a market stuck in the doldrums, some crossbred wool categories saw a double-digit price improvement. In Sydney, 28MPG was up 12ȼ to 310ȼ/kg and in Melbourne, 26MPG improved 24 ȼ to 544 ȼ/kg.  Sydney cardings rose 4ȼ to 752ȼ/kg, Melbourne carding lost 2ȼ  to 706ȼ/kg and Fremantle cardings lept 15ȼ to 701ȼ/kg.

The weeks offering of 36,159 bales were well met by the market, with pass-in rates relatively low at 6.4% in an appreciating market for sellers.  33, 836 bales were sold nationally this week roughly 6% lower than last season’s weekly average.   

This week on Mecardo, Andrew Woods revisits AWTA volumes to look at supply by micron categories (read here).  Overall volumes were up by 3.9% (farm bales) and the Merino clip skewed finer for the 2022/23 season, helping to explain the weakness seen in fine Merino prices of late.

Next week

44,452 Bales are scheduled for next week nationally, and sellers will be relieved to see what eventuated in the market this week.  Whether the market’s appetite for large volumes will continue is yet to be revealed. 

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Click on graph to expand

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Data sources: AWEX, AWI, Mecardo

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