On balance, it was a better week for the East Coast wool market as the Eastern Market Indicator (EMI) improved 4ȼ to 1131ȼ/kg. With the exchange rate still hovering in the 0.64ȼ range the EMI expressed in US$ improved 7ȼ to 732 ȼ/kg.
The start was strong for the Sydney Superfine sale with low pass-in rates (4.8%) and improvements across finer categories on Tuesday. This momentum didn’t carry into Wednesday and final results were mixed. 18MPG rose 18ȼ to 1533 ȼ/kg and 19MPG increased 19 ȼ to 1405 ȼ/kg.
Southern markets got up off the canvas this week, as all categories (with the exception of 17MPG ) improved on the back of a strong opening day to sales. Preference for low CVH and low VM lots pushed pricing upward on Tuesday but eased on Wednesday. 16.5 MPG finished 21ȼ higher to 1953 ȼ/kg and 21MPG increased 18 ȼ to 1277ȼ/kg.
Fremantle market returned this week and had to “face the music” after missing last week’s performance. All categories saw double-digit declines with the 18MPG falling 49ȼ to 1500ȼ/kg and 21MPG losing 67ȼ to 1274ȼ/kg. This dragged the Western Market Indicator (WMI) down 3.8% to 1270 ȼ/kg (-50 ȼ). This is 1ȼ below where the WMI finished the 2022/23 season so the start of season sugar-hit has now been erased.
Crossbreds crept upward again in Melbourne, with 28MPG up 5ȼ to 345 ȼ/kg. Cardings in Sydney lost 8 ȼ to 722 ȼ/kg and improved 3 ȼ to 698 ȼ/kg in Melbourne. Fremantle cardings had a steeper decline, losing 26ȼ to 717ȼ/kg.
With the return of the Fremantle sales, the national offering increased 15% week on week, to reach 44,690 bales. Despite the Western market pricing trending lower to fall in line with the losses of the East seen last week, the overall pass-in rate finished lower this week, to sit at 11.1%. 44% of the offering had <1.0% vegetable matter (vm) which was a 6% improvement on the previous week’s offering. 39,716 bales sold this week, which is 2% above the weekly average figure of bales sold for the 2023/24 season thus far.
This week on Mecardo, Andrew Woods provides analysis on Merino Price Curves (read here). Based on the performance of some micron categories in relation to 10-year median levels, the market is not yet flagging itself as being at a low point.
Sales are scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday in all three centres with an expected 45.5K bales to be offered.