Weekly Market Wrap

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With Adrian Field, Melbourne
Trading Manager

October 29, 2004

Market maintains stability

THE eastern market indicator remained unchanged at 745 cents per kilogram this week despite the strengthening of the Australian dollar.

There was some price movement in certain wool types, mostly in the finer and broader crossbred wools, where falls of up to 15c/kg were recorded.

Merino fleece in the 20-25 micron range and Merino cardings lifted a little.

Passed-in rates were low, totalling just 10 per cent for all selling centres combined. The passed-in rate at Melbourne was just 7pc. Only 19pc of the New Zealand catalogue was passed-in, which was substantially less than previous sales where it was about 40pc

More statistics

A YEAR-on-year comparison for the first 17 weeks of sales shows that this year's offerings are up by 84,908 bales compared to last season. Total offering to date is 872,399 and the passed-in rate is 14pc compared with 19pc last year. The average value per bale of wool this year has been recorded at $869, whereas last year it was $965.

China has accounted for 46pc of total exports.

Greasy wool exports continue to grow, accounting for 73.4pc of all wool exported. This figure is indicative of the demise of local (Australian) processing over the past two years.

Next week's sales will be held in Melbourne, Sydney and Fremantle, with a total of 53,000 bales on offer. With such a reduction in the volume offered, the market should continue its stable trend.

The Australian dollar is currently sitting at 74.5 US cents and there is talk of further rises. The market should maintain current levels if the dollar also holds its level.

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