Coronavirus crisis: Australian wool market slumps a massive 155¢

Zach RelphCountryman
Elders wool auctioneer Alice Wilsdon at the Western Wool Selling Centre.
Camera IconElders wool auctioneer Alice Wilsdon at the Western Wool Selling Centre. Credit: Bob Garnant/Countryman

Australia’s wool market has been gripped by coronavirus uncertainty and fallen more than 150¢ after reports surfaced international border closures were impacting shipments to major markets.

The Eastern Market Indicator slumped 155¢, or 10.8 per cent, to close at 1287¢/kg clean this week, with exporters reporting border shutdowns had stifled wool deliveries to Italy and India.

It marked the EMI’s biggest weekly percentage drop since May 2003, when it fell by 10.8 per cent.

Fremantle was unable to escape the tumultuous downfall as the Western Market Indicator spiralled 159¢ to 1353¢/kg amid the growing COVID-19 concerns.

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Australian Wool Exchange senior market analyst Lionel Plunkett said the unfolding pandemic sapped buyer confidence, causing the greasy commodity’s value to plummet.

“The Australian wool market has suffered major losses this week as concerns over COVID-19 rock the industry,” he said.

“Exporters have reported that due to border closures they are no longer able to ship wool into Italy and India, two major customers for Australian wool.

“They have also reported increasing difficulty obtaining finance during this difficult time.

“These factors combined with overall concerns about the effects of this virus, sent buyer confidence plummeting and with it the wool market.”

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