The wool market experienced a slight decline this week, with most micron price indicators down across all selling centres.
It is reported the reluctance of buyers is again attributed to the quality of wool on offer, with a large amount of drought affected wool in this week's offering.
Reports from physical auction suggested buying on both days at the southern and western selling centres reflected the quality on offer, as losses of about 20-40 cents were seen across all Merino micron price guides.
It was a similar trend at the northern centre, but to a lesser extent as the first day saw little price changes and closed on the second day to see losses of 15-20c. This was backed by the AWEX Eastern Market Indicator as it fell 3c on Wednesday and then a further 8c on Thursday to reach 1952 cents a kilogram.
The largest gains were seen for 26- to 28-micron wools, as demand for crossbred wool types remained firm. This sentiment at physical auction was reflected online as AuctionsPlus wool sold only 38 bales. Selling to a top of 1383c/kg (greasy) or 2195c/kg (clean) was a line of 20.4-micron Merino fleece. Top price for 17- and 18-micron fleece wool was 1244c/kg and 1294c/kg (greasy) or 1902c/kg and 1914c/kg (clean).
Given the surge in demand for crossbred fleece, activity online was relatively quiet this week, with four of the bales sold online being crossbred. Crossbred fleece was topped by a line of 24-micron fleece wool at 1210c/kg (greasy) or 1714c/kg (clean).
Looking forward, at some point the Chinese mills will have to re-enter the market with mounting supply pressures to meet demand, but there are no reports of this happening at this stage.
It is still expected the market will continue along the same path as last week, although with 51 bales sold this week as of Tuesday morning online, early buying activity may suggest a change in sentiment at physical auction this week.