Big offerings, but fewer sales

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Last week's Australian wool sales finished 3 per cent lower after one of the largest offerings of the season, 50,304 bales that pre-empted the last sale before Christmas break.

Australian Wool Industries Secretariat Peter Morgan said the marker eased further after the soft finish to the previous week's sale.

"The Eastern Market Indicator (EMI) was down 17c/kg in US currency on Tuesday and by 8c on Wednesday/Thursday."

He said the EMI was at 1168c/kg and is 161c higher than the same week last year; and the season average of 1235c is 309c higher than the season average at the end of week 23 last year.

Dr Morgan said the greater fall in the Western Indicator (-4.7 per cent) was again affected by the differences in the selling days between the east and the west.

He said the year-to-date national offering was 22,381 bales less (-2.5 per cent) than at the end of the same week last year.

"The exchange rate was much steadier after last week's increase of 5.4 per cent, but continues to fluctuate on a day-to-day basis.

"It eased on Tuesday following the Reserve Bank's decision to lower the official cash rate by 0.25 per cent."

Dr Morgan said the fall was short lived and the exchange rate rose on Wednesday in response to better than expected GDP. He said changes this week would probably be influenced by outcomes from the European debt crisis meeting.

Dr Morgan also said that while prices were down last Tuesday, the market held up quite well considering the quantity of fine wool on offer.

The Landmark Wool Weekly report said predominately Tasmanian wools were on offer in Melbourne which were difficult to compare with mainland fleece.

"Sales in Fremantle recorded heavy losses with prices ranging from 34 to 64c/kg below previous sale levels," Landmark said.

This week's sales will be held in Sydney, Melbourne and Fremantle and are the last before the three-week Christmas break. Currently there are 49,343 bales rostered for sale.

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