Last week saw relative stability in the wool market for all industry participants, given the global pandemic of COVID-19.
No doubt the postponement/closure of the South African and New Zealand markets, making Australia the only source of auction supplies, has helped to support the market.
This was reflected in the AWEX EMI losing 5c on Tuesday to then gain 7c and 2c on Wednesday and Thursday respectively, to close off at 1442c. While the West Australian indicator lost 27c and then gained 1c to close off at 1512c.
Potential industry shut down’s would have overseas mills looking to shore up supplies in the short-term, however, longer terms may not have nearly the same support from mills.
The Australian wool industry, as with many other essential services, has taken large steps to mitigate any risk COVID infections.
This has seen auction rooms moved out onto show flows, into dining halls and buyers/brokers spread out to adhere to the social distancing rules. What’s more, the industry has investigated many other options such as interface ‘Zoom’ auctions and online auctions.
AuctionsPlus is set to start offering online wool auctions around early April. Online last week AuctionsPlus Wool saw consistent buyer inquiry with 477 bales selling throughout the week.
Last week 16µ and 18µ micron fleece wool sold up to 1020c and 1230c greasy or 1594c and 1687c greasy. While 19µ and 20µ micron fleece wool sold up to 1160 and 1140c greasy or 1553c and 1543c dry.
The top priced lot sold online was a line 17µ micron AAA Merino fleece wool, with 0.8% VM. This lot branded JI/TOMBONG, offered by Jemalong Wool and sold for 1225c greasy or 1723c dry.
Looking forward, there are an estimated 39,000 bales on offer across the nation. Clearly, as the only nation with any volume of wool to transact, Australia is in the focal seat.
However, COVID-19 has all industries unsure of what will happen next; global economies are taking a battering, and government restrictions and lockdowns are in place, as nations struggle to contend with the virus.
With more and more companies shutting their doors, there is total uncertainty of where the market will head.