Merino fleece and merino skirting prices up for best length and colour

Merino Fleece saw the 16.5-20µ MPG’s add up to 30c with the NMI adding 11c for the day. Wednesday saw a consolidation of most Merino MPG’s with the exception of the 20MPG and coarser which added another 10-15 c to the previous days price levels.

Lower style, poorly specified and high VM fleece lines posted more moderate rises for the week.

Merino Skirtings followed the fleece trend with the best price rises experienced in the lots with best length and colour adding 20-30c, and lots that fell outside of those were 5-10c dearer.

Crossbred opened the week generally 5-10c dearer and continued that sentiment into Wednesday, adding another 5c. It is so hard to read the market in this category, as demand for XB wool has been reported as very scant, yet prices week after week seem to hover within 5-10c either side of the week before. It begs the question, “has the Australian crossbred wool sector become just another traded commodity”?

Merino Cardings joined the positive sentiment adding 4c (717c) in the Northern MC and 5c (719c) to the Southern MC. Whilst it was business as usual for most types the best coloured, bright and bulky crutchings added 10-15c in some cases.The AWEX EMI closed on 1152c, up 15c at auction sales in Australia this week. 95% of the 26,897 bales offered in Sydney and Melbourne was cleared to the trade.

The offering last week was the smallest weekly offering since September 2020. With low numbers underpinning the markets expectations, the moderately positive market direction seemed imminent to continue into this week.

The closing result was positive, as a combination of Australian based trading exporters, Indent operators and large Chinese Top Makers pushed the best specified FNF (low VM) lots across all MPG’s up on both selling days.

Crossbred Oddments were also slightly better supported with some lots recently not gaining a bid, being sold for 20- 40c this week. Whilst barely covering the cost of selling it is a slight improvement.

Market Commentary: Over the past two weeks the EMI has added 22c over the 4 days of selling. Our market intel confirms this is initiated by the current low supply signals more than an increase in demand at retail.

The most recent economic data analysis reveals 2024 has performed slightly better than expected in the USA and China with easing inflation, improved supply and strong labour markets continuing to fuel overall economic activity. However, forward growth estimates remain relatively stagnant and lower than historic levels, with expectations to continue due to the impact of high interest rates and escalating cost pressures. Businesses and consumers continue to exhibit diligent spending behaviour amid the current financial environment.

A sustainable economic recovery is imminent but It’s not shaping up to start in 2024, don’t be surprised if it does not emerge until the second half of 2025.

A great indication of wool production is the Australian Wool testing Authority key test data. The bales tested for May 2024 compared with the same period last season are down 15.6% bales whilst the progressive comparison of bales tested for July 2023 to May 2024 were down 2.6%.

This is in line with the Wool Production Forecast committee. Next week Fremantle returns to the selling week with a National total of 33,814 bales being offered.
~ Marty Moses