Season closes on positive note

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Bob GarnantCountryman

The 2011-12 wool selling season closed last week on a positive note with the AWEX Regional Indicators finishing 0.9 per cent higher.

AWEX said the Eastern Market Indicator (EMI) closed at 1076c/kg clean, which was 323 cents lower than the close of the previous season.

"It was the largest season-to-season fall on percentage basis in 16 years," AWEX said.

Australian Wool Industries Secretariat Peter Morgan said the financial year closed with the spot indicators well down on the same time last year, but the season averages were better than the previous year because of higher prices at the start.

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"The season average of 1198c was 55c greater than the previous," Dr Morgan said.

In the case of the Western Market Indicator, he said last week's 1096c finish was 282c below the same week last year but the season average of 1206c was 103c above the average for 2010-11.

Kellerberrin woolgrowers Rod and Judy Forsyth, who farm with their son Ryan and his wife, Kerry, sold their Xnana Plains clip to a top price of 842c/kg greasy last week.

The family's wool was awarded the supreme clip of the sale in the Elders catalogue.

Elders traditionally recognises its clients' commitments to the wool industry and through its network of district wool managers seeks to boost confidence in the sector.

Elders national wool manager Andrew Dennis said although the EMI was a far cry from last year, there were not many commodities that had fallen less than wool during the turbulent 12 months.

"The financial year ahead will not doubt contain a few surprises," he said.

"Stock levels from farmgate to retail shelf are considered very low and new orders are being sought for immediate delivery.

"In some cases, airfreight is required to meet delivery deadline."

Mr Dennis said last week's wool sales had "depth and breadth" of buying interest, which was a pleasing sign, and indicated that no one segment of the market was dominating.

"Processors and traders are making sure they do not leave themselves exposed to an upswing, which should happen at some time in the next six months," he said.

Mr Dennis said July and August were always difficult for the wool market, because the new summer garment orders for the northern hemisphere have been completed and production has subsided.

"However, come September there are a large number of events to focus on, including Spin-expo in Shanghai and some major yarn and fabric exhibitions in Europe," he said.

"These may be too early for a full recovery, however, it is possible by then production figures will be seen to be static at best and the trade will start to take a position."

While WA will have a one week recess for the first sale of the new season, and 33,243 bales are currently rostered for sale in Sydney and Melbourne this week.

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