Wool price keeps rising
Australian wool prices hit an historic high at the second last sale of the selling season, with the benchmark Eastern Market Indicator rising 52¢ to 2073¢/kg clean at two sales.
There was no sale at Fremantle last week, but at Sydney and Melbourne, buyers scrambled to secure limited quantities of 18-22 micron Merino wool from the 20,904 bales on offer.
AWEX market analyst Lionel Plunkett said the sale was the smallest of the season and for the past nine years. “The market has continued to improve during the series, mirroring recent trends where most support has been for the Merino fleece sector,” he said. “The 18 to 22 microns all attracted spirited competition ... driving prices as much as 80¢ higher.”
The final sale for the second will be held across all three selling centres next week, with 32,528 bales on offer.
WA’s annual wool clip is now worth $1.07 billion, up from $826 million in 2016-17.
Currency movements and a small national offering combined to push the Eastern Market Indicator to new heights, rising 52¢ to close the week at 2073¢/kg.
The penultimate sale for the 2017-18 season has traditionally been small, and last week no exception. With Fremantle’s centre in recess and total bales registered for sale totalling just under 21,000, it was reported to be the smallest national offering in nine years.
A total of 20,685 bales were cleared to the trade in Sydney and Melbourne, registering a 2 per cent pass-in rate and raising $46.6 million. This equated to an average of $2275 a bale, $519 more than the same time last year.
Australian Wool Industries Secretariat Inc representative Peter Morgan said record prices were recorded across all regional indicators and average AWEX micron price guides.
“Prices in Australian currency were assisted by the fall in the US Exchange Rate, but still remained fully firm in US currency,” he said.
“The US Exchange Rate finished 1.95¢ lower to close at 73.60¢ on Thursday.
“There were good price rises across all wool types and across all micron ranges, apart from the coarse crossbred microns.”
AWEX reported prices for 18 to 22 micron wool rose by as much as 80¢, with “spirited competition” from buyers from China, India, Europe and Korea.
Ultrafine bales also gained in price, although the average was downgraded by the mixed quality of the wool available.
Support for finer crossbred microns pushed the 26 and 28 micron price guides into record levels, gaining 30¢, while those for 20 to 28 micron wool also reached new heights.
The National Council of Wool Selling Brokers of Australia Inc executive director Chris Wilcox drew attention the latest report by the Federal Government’s agricultural commodity forecaster.
“ABARES predicts the EMI will average 1990¢/kg in 2018/19, up 15.5 per cent from an average of 1723¢/ kg in 2017-18,” he said.
“In March, ABARES predicted the EMI would average 1700¢/kg in 2018-19. So, the forecast annual average has been lifted by 290¢/kg. This is an amazing lift in a mere three months and a phenomenal average for a full season.”
With Fremantle back in the picture this week, the final sale of the season was expected to bring in 32,528 bales across the nation.
Corrigin brothers Richard and Tony Guinness at their shearing shed.