Australian Wool Sales Resume with Large Quantities
January 11, 2019

The Australian wool market resumed sales this week after the annual three-week Christmas recess. Since shearing continued during the break, wool has been stockpiling in broker's stores. As a result, the first sale of the calendar year is traditionally one of the largest. This week, the national offering was 47,593 bales.

In an unusual selling pattern, the sales opened on Tuesday, with selling in Fremantle and Melbourne. This was to avoid Melbourne selling in isolation after an extended recess. As this was the first buying opportunity in nearly a month, there were many buyers who were noticeably keen to secure quantity. This created widespread demand, resulting in aggressive buyer activity and spirited bidding from the outset. Price increases were realized from the opening lot and continued virtually unabated until the final hammer.

Premiums were again being paid for wool possessing favorable additional measurement results. In contrast to this, a large selection of wools with very high mid-breaks (greater than 70), were continually discounted, as buyers struggled to average them into their purchases. By the end of the series, prices had generally increased by 25 to 70 Australian cents. These gains helped to push the AWEX Eastern market indicator up by 48 cents, which closed the week at 1910 Australian cents.

Skirtings followed a similar path to the fleece as prices continually tracked upward and generally finishing the week 40 to 70 cents dearer. The crossbred sector also had a strong start to the new calendar year. Twenty-six micron all the way through to 32.0 micron experienced general price increases of 30 to 60 Australian cents, the better prepared lines recording the largest gains.

Next week the national quantity increases, as wool accumulated during the recess continues to come onto the market. Currently, there are 53,908 bales on offer.

Source: AWEX