Sheep being shorn for wool

The Australian wool market has suffered 12 weeks in a row without lifting. There was a late big withdrawal of wool on offer this week, but buyers were still not overly excited, with nearly all indicators falling.

The Eastern Market Indicator (EMI) fell 20ȼ this week, down to 1235ȼ/kg and with the Aussie dollar rising (+ 0.66ȼ) to 0.654US, the EMI also fell in US terms, by 4ȼ to 808ȼ/kg.

Again, the finer microns suffered the biggest loss this week, with 18 and finer microns falling between 20 to 62ȼ. There were no prices recorded for the 16.5 MPG for Melbourne last week, but it finished this week at 2278ȼ/kg, a 255ȼ fall in a fortnight and down 770ȼ from this year’s June high of 3048ȼ/kg. 

Medium types fell significantly too although there were some more mixed results. The 18.5-20 MPG’s in Sydney fell between 37 to 45ȼ, whilst in Melbourne falls for the same microns were only between 1 to 19ȼ. In Fremantle, all indicators 18 to 21 lost between 21 to 53ȼ. The Western Market Indicator (WMI) slipped 27ȼ to 1363ȼ/kg.

Broader wools fared better this week, with the 21MPG in Melbourne lifting marginally (+1 ȼ) to 1282ȼ/kg while the 22MPG there stayed put at 1228ȼ/kg. The 26 micron indicator was the standout performer for the week, moving up 18ȼ to 650ȼ/kg. Cardings were mixed again, with the indicators falling 3 & 17ȼ in Sydney and Melbourne respectively, while over in the west the cardings indicator moved up 11ȼ to 909ȼ/kg.

We were due for a much larger offering this week of over 41,000 bales, but much of it was withdrawn, leaving 33,393 bales on offer in the end. With a national pass in rate average of 12.3% there were just 29,271 bales sold, at the tail end of the 5-year average. Average bales sold this season are now below the average for last season (2020/21), sitting at 35,092 bales per week. (fig 2)

Fittingly, this week on Mecardo Andrew Woods took a look Merino price trends from the year 2000 onwards, concluding that prices tend to weaken from the middle of the calendar year through to October with the current price weakness this season no different – however, unfortunately, this down cycle and the poor economic backdrop is mirroring the large falls we saw in 2009 and 2020.  

The week ahead….

Next week we have 35,881 bales rostered for auctions across the three main selling centres.

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Data sources: AWEX, Mecardo

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