Wool sheep moving through yards

After weeks of incremental rises across most categories; all market indicators fell apart from one for the week ending 19th of March 2021.

The Eastern Market Indicator fell 32¢ for the week to finish at 1277¢. The drop in US terms was a little less dramatic, however, thanks to the continued strengthening Aussie dollar, falling 14¢, to finish at 1000¢.

Year-on-year, when viewed in AUD terms the EMI is currently 11 % lower, yet in USD terms it is 25% higher, reflecting the Aussie dollars steady rise, which is now at US$0.7833, up around 1% on last this time last week.

Last year’s lowest EMI recorded, in both AUD and USD terms, was in September, when they were sitting at 858¢ & 631¢ respectively. Since then, they have risen by 419¢ and 369¢. That’s an average lift of 16¢ per selling week in AUD terms, and 14¢ per selling week in USD terms, since the start of September 2020. Although the EMI is 161¢ lower than this time last year, it has been on an upward trajectory for the past 6 months. 

In Melbourne, which was the only centre to sell on Thursday this week, falls were recorded in all the medium to fine categories. The finer categories fell the furthest, with the 17 MPG falling 82¢, followed by the 17.5 -18.5 MPG’s, all losing 50¢+. Cardings were the only indicator to lift for the week, rising 14¢.

In Sydney it was a similar story, with falls ranging from 10 to 60 cents. Like Melbourne, it was the finer categories that fell the most, with MPG’s 18 and below falling, on average, by 50 cents each.  

Over in the West, the WMI followed the national trend and fell 43 cents to finish at 1333.  All categories fell in Fremantle, dropping between 38 to 56 cents.

This week AWEX reported that the general drop across the market was met with seller resistance, pushing the pass-in rate up to 16.9%. There were still 40,241 bales sold, continuing on this year’s run of high bales sold each week. So far in 2021, average weekly bales sold, is sitting at 41,654.  

This week on Mecardo, Andrew woods took a look at sheep and lamb offtake. National flock offtake has fallen over the past few seasons and if it sits around where it is now or drops further, the flock will be well and truly heading into an expansionary phase. If we have another relatively wet 2021/22, expect wool supply to increase.

The week ahead….

Next week’s offerings are still relatively high, although slightly lower than previous weeks, in part due to the weaker market. There are 46, 578 bales on offer across the three selling centres, Melbourne, Sydney and Fremantle; with all sales on Tuesday and Wednesday only. We shouldn’t expect as big falls again in practically all categories as we saw this week, but only time will tell.

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Data sources: AWEX, Mecardo

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