Weekly Market Wrap

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With Mark Dyson, Managing Director

March 7, 2008

Market rebounds

THE wool market had a relatively good week, with the Eastern Market Indicator (EMI) rising 9 cents per kilogram to close at 972c/kg

The market opened on Tuesday, with both Melbourne and Sydney selling. Average AWEX Micron Price Guides (MPGs) were up by 16c/kg clean for 16.5 microns, 39c/kg for 17 microns, 43c/kg for 17.5 microns, 41c/kg for 18 microns, 28c/kg for 18.5 microns, 13c/kg for 19 microns and 15c/kg for 19.5 microns.

The 20 micron MPG was up 11c/kg, 21 microns by 1c/kg, 22 microns was down by 1c/kg, 23 microns was unchanged, and 24 microns was up 8c/kg.

Skirtings were generally unchanged. Oddments had a mixed week, with the AWEX Merino Cardings average MPG falling 1c/kg.

Crossbreds were down at the fine end, but showed small increases among the medium and coarse wools.

In the South, there were close to 23,500 bales on offer, with 9.9 per cent passed-in. The offering contained 13.6pc re-offered wool.

The better types were well supported and bigger discounts are now being applied to inferior wools that contain low tensile strength and low yields.

Merino fleece in 17-17.8 micron range gained around 15c/kg, 18 to 19.5 micron closed the week 20-25c/kg dearer and 20 micron lifted 15c/kg. The broader types remained firm, but there was a less stylish selection of these types.

Crossbred fleece closed the week generally firm. Merino skirtings received gains in-line with fleece, with selected lots receiving good premiums. Cardings closed the week 10-12c/kg dearer.

The national pass-in rate was 11.4pc. Sales will be held over two days next week, with the markets opening on Wednesday. About 55,730 bales will be offered nationally. The following week has 40,000 bales rostered before a one-week sale recess, then nearly 60,000 bales will be offered in the 40th sale week.

AWTA test data update

AWTA sampled 2.3pc fewer bales in February compared with last year, taking the July to February progressive total to 8.3pc behind the same period last year.

Progressively, AWTA has tested 295 million kilograms this year compared with 320m kg for the same period last year.

Outlook '08: Wool to hold current prices for some years

ABARE expects wool to lift and expand EMI forecast to average 960c/kg (clean) next year, it has revealed at its Outlook conference in Canberra.

The Outlook conference has heard that ABARE predicts wool to generally hold its current price levels for some years.

Next year it expects the EMI to average 960c/kg, only slightly lower than the 970c/kg that wool is expected to average this current financial year.

Across the medium to longer term, the average EMI is expected to stay above 900c/kg out to 2011-12.

With the big assumption of drought ending, wool production is expected to lift slowly, from 437m kg this year, back up to 500m kg in four years time.

Sheep numbers are now at about 85 million head and will climb by two million head a year, according to ABARE. Source: Extract from special ABARE Outlook report to appear in Rural Press newspapers.

Merino wool a fashion award highlight

Australian Merino wool was the highlight of The Australian Wool Fashion Awards (TAWFA) in Armidale, NSW, on Saturday.

The 28th TAWFA event recognised the commemoration of the 200-year anniversary of the shipping of the first bale of wool to the UK for commercial sale.

A retrospective of Supreme Award winning garments were on display, along with a selection of historic woollen garments dating back to the 1800s.

From small beginnings, starting out as the Wearable Wool Awards under the umbrella of Wool Expo in 1981, TAWFA now commands respect in both the fashion and wool industries alike, showcasing the use of Merino wool by national and international fashion designers and students.

The competition's main aim is to educate and encourage young designers in the wonderful qualities of wool.

Secondary school students through to tertiary fashion students are enticed to use the many versatile wool and wool blend fabrics to create their entries. Source: Rural Press.

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Mark Dyson, Managing Director

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