Sheep in paddock in NSW, photo by Adele SMith

The market returned from the winter recess with a large offering, and as has been the case, it struggled to digest the added bales offered. As one wool broker noted this week, “it was like the first day of school, with the buyers eyeing each other off to see where the market would land”.

The Eastern Market Indicator (EMI) lost 46ȼ to 1342ȼ/kg, a fall of 3.3% however this fall can be almost completely attributed to a stronger Au$.

The Aussie dollar over the recess lifted 3.13ȼ or against the USD, to 0.707 US, resulting in an 11ȼ or 1.2% lift for the EMI in US terms to 949ȼ/kg.

The market tried to find a level of support as the week progressed, and by Thursday with only Melbourne selling AWEX reported a “solidifying” of the market across most MPG’s. Again, AWEX commented that the main buyer support was for “good style higher yielding types” with plenty of solid premiums for speciality non-mulesed types.

The Western Market Indicator followed the eastern states’ lead falling 24ȼ  compared to the last sale to settle at 1449ȼ/kg, however, the fall was focused on the Tuesday sale, by Wednesday the market had steadied with nearly all MPG’s quoted dearer.

Crossbreds were irregular, 28 MPG lost 12 cents for the week, while the 30 & 32 MPG were better, with the 30 MPG gaining 17 cents in Melbourne.

The cardings indicators all lost ground but again some positive signs were apparent by the close of the selling week. Melbourne Cardings Indicator was down 64 cents, Sydney off 47 and Fremantle losing 26 cents.

A large offering this week, 55,363 were offered and with a pass-in rate of 22.1%, 43,110 bales were sold, well above the 5-year average. The three opening sales for this season have now cleared 133,406 bales, for comparison, the opening three sales of last season sold 121,00 while the 2020 opening three sales saw 92,000 cleared to the trade.

This week on Mecardo Andrew Woods took a look at the recent fall in cotton prices, however it still leaves cotton prices at high levels, with the 21 MPG still cheap in comparison. Cyclical variations in cotton prices are not necessarily a good guide to comparable cyclical variations in the 21 MPG, so the recent fall in cotton price looks to be cotton “coming back to earth”. This does not mean wool prices will not ease in the coming spring (there is a recession about in the world) but is a cautionary tale about simply projecting the recent fall in cotton prices onto the greasy wool market.

The week ahead….

Next week another big offering is rostered with close to 50,000 bales again. Melbourne will again sell on Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday, while Sydney and Fremantle sell on Tuesday & Wednesday only.

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Data sources: AWEX, Mecardo

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