Woolgrowers to expect ‘softer market’ as auctions resume

Aidan SmithCountryman
General photo of bales of wool.
Camera IconGeneral photo of bales of wool. Credit: Bob Garnant/Countryman

Woolgrowers can expect a soft reopening of the auction market in Western Australia after a three week recess ends this week.

WA Merino Wool Co founder and Endeavor Wool buyer Steve Noa said the WA fleece market will be “a little softer on opening with limited business (experienced) over the break”.

WA Merino Co founder Steve Noa.
Camera IconWA Merino Co founder Steve Noa. Credit: Countryman

“Europe and China have been buying a little bit on the back of the market looking cheap, rather than new demand.

“China stimulus programs give some hope but the reality of plenty of unsold wool will inhibit any decent rises.”

The Western Wool Centre kicks back into action on Wednesday and Thursday, having made the best start to the season since 2020, with positive results posted across the board.

The Western Market Index lifted an average of 19 cents in its last week of trading before the three week recess, to average 1339c/kg.

Rabobank agriculture commodities associate analyst Edward McGeoch.
Camera IconRabobank agriculture commodities associate analyst Edward McGeoch. Credit: supplied/supplied/Rabobank

Mr McGeoch said despite increased wool production across Australia, export volumes through 2023 have struggled to keep up.

He said between January and May exports totalled 142,992 tonnes, down 2.7 per cent on 2022 volumes.

“With many key markets’ manufacturing services in contraction and retail sales growth showing a marginal increase, we will need to see a significant turnaround in the second half of the year to support any price upside in coming months,” Mr McGeoch said.

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