Fine fibres sell well but market pressure not easing

Demand kicks for finer wools in an increasingly discerning market

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AuctionsPlus has noted good buyer demand for finer and longer Merino wool at its online auctions.

AuctionsPlus has noted good buyer demand for finer and longer Merino wool at its online auctions.

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Fine wool prices were up in the past week but generally sentiment is flat

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The wool market continued down its negative path during the past week.

Global uncertainly and further trade tensions with China are putting pressure on prices, which have continued to shed value.

The falls were reflected in the Australian Wool Exchange (AWEX) Eastern Market Indicator (EMI), which gained 1 cents per kilogram last Tuesday, only to then lose 25c/kg on Wednesday and close at 1155c/kg - or 756c/kg in US Dollar terms.

The Western Market Indicator (WMI) fell 23c/kg for the week to rest at 1214c/kg.

Across the week, there was a 12.3 per cent pass-in rate at physical wool auctions, as growers continued to sell wool at the current level.

Thursday was Week 47 of the online wool auctions held on AuctionsPlus, through which Nutrien Ag Solutions (out of Western Australia) offered 217 bales over 25 lots.

The market retraction wasn't lost in the online auctions, with a 44 per cent clearance rate.

The usual buyers competed in sales, along with several WA companies that had not previously competed online.

Ten growers logged-in to view the sale.

The top priced lot online was a line of 16.7-micron AAA Merino weaners fleece, which had a very low vegetable matter of 0.9 per cent, was branded Wiringa Park and sold for 974c/kg (greasy).

This vendor also topped the sale with a lot of 16.6-micron Merino weaners bellies, selling for 663c/kg (greasy).

Lambs fleece was topped by a line of 22.4-micron wool, branded Lindley Farm and selling for 531c/kg (greasy).

In the past week, 47 bales sold online on the AuctionsPlus Wool Offer Board.

Buyers used the platform at limited capacity, as the offering at physical auction sales overtook global demand.

But there is still some demand at the finer end of the market for knitwear, and buyers looked online for longer and finer Merino pieces.

Online, a lot of 17.7-micron AAA Merino pieces sold for 920c/kg (greasy) or 1373c/kg (clean). It was 77 millimetres in length, had a vegetable matter of 0.7 per cent, was branded SJB/E and offered by Australian Wool Network.

A line of 16.7-micron Merino pieces, which were 87mm in length, sold for 757c/kg (greasy) or 1514c/kg (clean). This lot was offered by Elders Brisbane and branded Bonnie Doon/Tara.

Looking ahead, Week 48 sales will have about 22,000 bales on offer.

The small offering is almost being absorbed by demand.

Further to this, there isn't any real sign of light at the end of the tunnel for a market turn around.

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