Increased buyer interest last week resulted in the wool price moving into positive territory, which was a welcome change to the trend of previous weeks.
The Eastern Market Indicator (EMI) gained a small amount of ground, closing after Wednesday's auctions at 1179 cents a kilogram. This was up 9c/kg compared to the previous week.
In USD terms, this equates to 764c/kg, which was up 8c/kg compared to the previous week.
The improved buyer interest was reflected in the passed-in rate, which was 6.4 per cent on Tuesday and 11.6 per cent on Wednesday - compared to the previous week's 18.4 per cent.
Prices rose across the board, with 19.5-micron wool and finer recording price increases of 20-30c/kg.
Last Thursday saw Week 46 wool auctions held online on AuctionsPlus, with Nutrien Ag Solutions offering 101 bales over 24 lots.
The upturn in the market led to an 80 per cent clearance rate, with the usual buyers competing. There were also 12 growers logging-in to watch the sale.
The top priced lot sold was a line of 17.9-micron, AAA Merino fleece that was 71 millimetres in length and fetched 975c/kg (greasy) or 1444c/kg (clean).
The top priced lot of pieces was a line of 17.4-micron Merino pieces that sold for 645c/kg (greasy) or 1250c/kg (clean).
A lot of 17.5-micron Merino bellies sold for 643c/kg (greasy) or 1289c/kg (clean).
In the past week, 315 bales sold on the AuctionsPlus wool offer board.
Of the offering, 13 and 16-micron fleece sold up to 1460c/kg and 1250c/kg (greasy) or 2370c/kg and 1753c/kg (clean) respectively.
The selection of 17 and 18-micron fleece sold up to 1105c/kg and 1000c/kg (greasy) or 1510c/kg and 1437c/kg (clean) and 19 and 20-micron fleece sold up to 1015c/kg and 940c/kg (greasy) or 1359c/kg and 1272c/kg (clean).
Ten bales of crossbred fleece sold for 153c/kg (greasy) or 210c/kg (clean).
The top price lot sold online on the AuctionsPlus Offer Board was a 13.7-micron Australian Superfine fleece wool, which was offered by Jemalong Wool - branded MR/URALLA - and sold for 1460c/kg (greasy) or 2370c/kg (clean).
The EMI has been trending downwards since May 2019, long before the appearance of COVID-19.
With global markets still in turmoil, predicting price movements will continue to be no more than a punt.
It will likely be some time before we see any genuine stability in both the EMI and global markets.