Buyers battle for your fleece

Wool prices end year at record high

Sheep & Goats
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THE Christmas celebrations have come early for wool producers who sold golden fleeces during the last week of wool auctions for 2017.

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THE Christmas celebrations have come early for wool producers who sold golden fleeces during the last week of wool auctions for 2017. 

After teetering just below 1700 cent a kilogram in recent weeks, the Eastern Market Indicator finally cut through to hit a record 1765c/kg on Wednesday.

At the close of auctions on Thursday it had softened slightly, but was still sky-high at 1760c/kg.

Australian Wool Exchange market information manager Lionel Plunkett described the trend as a “perfect storm” in the market place.

“All types and descriptions, across the entire Merino spectrum experienced sharp price increases,” Mr Plunkett said.

“The rises were felt from the opening hammer on the first selling day and continued unabated until the beginning of the final day, when buyers finally became more selective in their purchases and stabilised prices.”

In the past week the EMI rose more than 60c/kg and much of this was due to a buyer push on Wednesday where the medium to broad microns were effectively 100c/kg dearer. 

Mr Plunkett said the micron price guides for 16.5 micron all the way through to 22 micron hit record highs in all centres on Wednesday, before softening slightly on the Thursday. 

“Notably, this week was the first time the EMI has broken through the 1700c/kg barrier,” he said. 

Across the year, Mr Plunkett said the EMI had added 405c/kg for the year, which was an annual increase of 29.9 per cent and the largest amount since 2002.

“The total amount of wool sold surpassed the $3-billion market this calendar year for the first time since our records began (1995),” he said.

“The EMI has posted rises for the past three calendar years totalling 701c/kg.” 

Looking at individual auction centres, the Northern Market Indicator bounced to 1849c/kg on Wednesday, which was almost 70c/kg higher than last week.

Drivers of this lift were the 18.5- to 20-micron wools which gained an average of 100c/kg. 

At the close on Thursday the Northern Market Indicator settled at 1841c/kg.

At the southern market, Mr Plunkett said it was again propelled upward with confidence leaving last week’s levels behind by up to 100c/kg. 

“Today (Wednesday) has again seen massive increases across all microns and all descriptions,” he said. 

“The 18-micron and finer has lifted 35c/kg, while 19 and coarser has increased a stunning 55c/kg to 60c/kg.”

By Thursday the Southern Market Indicator was on 1710c/kg.

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