THE wool market started the new year on a high characterised by aggressive buyer activity and spirited bidding from the outset.
The Eastern Market Indicator climbed nearly 50 cents a kilogram higher than the 2018 close to sit at 1910c/kg at the end of the first week of trading for 2019.
AWEX market information manager Lionel Plunkett said the first sale of the calendar year was traditionally one of the largest, but that didn’t seem to put the breaks on the dearer market.
All up there were 47,593 bales offered nationally and price increases were realised from the opening lot and continued virtually unabated until the final hammer.
Mr Plunkett said premiums were being paid for wool possessing favourable additional measurement results.
But, he said a large selection of wools with very high mid‑breaks (greater than 70), were continually discounted, as buyers struggled to average them into their purchases.
The medium wools were as much as 62c/kg dearer at Sydney sales last week. The 20-micron wool averaged 2240c/kg, while 19.5-microns averaged 2262c/kg.
The rises for the finer end of the market were not as dramatic in Sydney, but still recorded healthy gains. Eighteen-micron wool hit an average of 2435c/kg (up 33c/kg). The 19-micron lots were nearly 50c/kg dearer to finish the week at 2296c/kg.
However, the higher prices may not hang around for too long.
Shearing during the Christmas and new year break means wool has been stockpiling in broker’s stores.
It’s expected this wool will need to be shifted onto the market in coming weeks which traders suspect will place additional pressure on the market.
AuctionsPlus operations manager Tom Rookyard said were was also consistent buyer enquiry for wool selling online with 172 bales sold last week.
But, he was also wary of where prices would head in the next few weeks.
“There’s an estimated 54,000 bales this week nationally, the weight of supply has to impact the market,” he said.
“This looks to be the largest quantity on offer in Sydney for the season, while there are reports that demand from China is not as strong at the auctions.”