Market hits $US record


Wool prices broke through the $14 per kilogram mark at auction sales in the eastern states last week as the weekly offering fell to its lowest level for the season, demand from China continued unabated and the US exchange rate fell 0.4 per cent — or about 1USc.

In US dollar terms, the Eastern Market Indicator (EMI) closed the week at a record high of 1503c/kg, which was up 94.3 per cent compared to July last year.

In Australian dollar terms, the indicator has risen 61 per cent since the start of the 2010-11 wool selling season and wool prices are at a post-1988 peak.

The EMI finished up 1.6 per cent to 1420c/kg last week at sales in Sydney and Melbourne, necessitating an extension of the Y axis on AWEX price graphs.

There was no sale held in Fremantle.

The season average EMI finished the week at 1123c/kg, which was up 253c/kg — or almost 30 per cent — from the average at the same time last year.

Last week 22,821 bales were put under the hammer in the east and 7.6 per cent of the offering was passed in.

Price gains were strongest in the 20 to 23 micron categories, which rose about 40c/kg.

The 19.5 to 23 average micron price guides are now about 50 per cent higher than in January this year.

The 19.5 to 21 micron wool categories also made gains last week, but finer wools eased and trade reports indicated some of the finer offering was made up of shorter wools and weaner wool.

Buyers for China were dominant and there was support from Europe, Taiwan, India and Korea.

Wool sales scheduled for Fremantle, Sydney and Melbourne this week were expected to have 27,206 bales go under the hammer, followed by 22,060 bales rostered for next week’s sales in Sydney and Melbourne.

In other news, the National Council of Wool Selling Brokers of Australia (NCWSBA) is seeking clarification about new regulations governing European Union greasy wool imports.

The council was advised by the International Wool Textile Organisation (IWTO) last week that greasy wool would only be allowed to be imported into the EU by ‘producers’ who were registered and published on the relevant EU website.

NCWSBA executive director Chris Wilcox said these new regulations came into effect on March 1, but the requirement for registration had only just been phased in.

Mr Wilcox said wool was classified under this new regulation as an animal by-product.

But it was not clear if ‘producers’ were the Australian exporters, or actual wool producers themselves.

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