Wool in shearing shed

The recent announcement by the Chinese government of an easing in the “zero” COVID 19 approach to managing the pandemic continued to flow through and build positive sentiment for the wool market. While at times the industry has concerns over the dominance China has on the wool market fortunes, when the intention to ramp up purchases happens, the sheer scale of the Chinese market has big impacts.

The Eastern Market Indicator (EMI) rallied, gaining 49ȼ to 1327ȼ/kg, and despite a stronger Aussie dollar (+1.54ȼ to US$0.6), the EMI when expressed in US$ also improved a further 52ȼ to settle at 909ȼ/kg (US).

The Western market indicator followed suit and gained 67ȼ to finish the week at 1486ȼ/kg.

Another three-day sale was scheduled, with Melbourne selling on its own on Thursday, and in a positive pointer for the new year, more than 40,000 bales were cleared to the trade. This is the first time above 40k in four months.

Another positive is that since the sudden market turnaround, the EMI has posted a 103ȼ lift, the WMI is up 116ȼ, and in US$ terms the market is up 11%.

Fine Crossbreds improved with the 28 MPG in Melbourne up 9ȼ, while the 30 MPG retreated 10ȼ for the week.

Cardings also lifted, improving 4ȼ in Sydney, up 17ȼ in Melbourne and stronger by 11ȼ in Fremantle.

A much larger volume of 47,914 was offered volume for sale, 7,000 up on last week. After 3.0% of the original rostered offering was withdrawn prior to sale, the pass-in rate again fell as a result of the stronger market, down from 7.7% to 6.5% of this week’s offering.

As a result, 44,820 bales were sold, 7,333 more than last week, well above the seasonal weekly average of 33,938 bales.

This week on Mecardo, Andrew Woods looked at the best way to judge the performance of the wool market. When discussing the greasy wool market, the first thing to do is acknowledge the wide range of wool categories which in turn have a wide range of end uses, and in doing so can have a wide range of prices. “Wools ain’t wools”. This article looks at the 19 micron category which is the average micron range of the Australian merino clip, give or take half a micron, and has been for over a decade. The merino clip is the dominant component of the Australian wool clip by volume and value.

Next week

The market now heads into the annual three-week Christmas recess. Sales will resume in Week 28 which is the week beginning Monday the 9th of January.

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Click on graph to expand

Data sources: AWEX, AWI, Mecardo

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