Market stays on even keel

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The AWEX regional indicators finished 0.1 per cent lower, on average, at sales in Newcastle, Melbourne and Fremantle last week when the US exchange rate fell by 0.2 per cent.

Australian Wool Industries Secretariat's Peter Morgan said the market continued in the steadier pattern of the previous two weeks.

"The closing Eastern Market Indicator (EMI) was down by 0.2 per cent, following the 0.3 per cent fall in week 15 and the 2.4 per cent fall in week 14," Dr Morgan said.

"The EMI, although down by 14.9 per cent since the start of the season, is 24.8 per cent above the same week last year."

A total of 43,416 bales were on offer, compared with 40,969 bales the previous week.

The 13.1 per cent overall pass-in rate consisted of 15.2 per cent in Newcastle, 12 per cent in Melbourne and 12.8 per cent in Fremantle.

Dr Morgan said that pass-in rates for Merino fleece and skirtings were 16 per cent and 6.3 per cent, respectively, with 37,719 bales cleared to the trade.

He said the US exchange rate followed an "up one day, down the next" pattern as money markets reacted to varying economic data and sentiment.

Dr Morgan said the major factor over-hanging the global economic scene was uncertainty about the outcomes that would come out of the meeting of European leaders in Brussels this week after discussions of the EU debt take place.

"Last week's wool sales started on a downward note on Tuesday but finished on a softer note," he said.

"Falls occurred across all micron ranges in the south but were not as great among the fine wools in Newcastle."

Dr Morgan said Wednesday's market saw an improvement in confidence and the sale finished with a one per cent lift in the AWEX EMI, despite downward pressure from 17 to 18 microns.

"The greater strength in the market continued on Thursday but more so in the south and west where the regional indicators rose by 15 and 16 cents/kg respectively and gains of 20 and 30c/kg occurred in some individual micron price guides.

"Overall it was a good week for fine wools, given the market pressures at the end of the clip this season and the large quantity of fine wool on offer."

Dr Morgan said buyers for China were dominant followed by buyers for Europe and India.

"Buyers for Italy were prominent in Newcastle, as is normally the case," he said.

Sales for this week will consist of 41,886 bales which are rostered for Sydney, Melbourne and Fremantle.

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