Online auctions bask in success of physical centre rises as supplies held back

Wool sector celebrates double-digit growth in indicator

Sheep
A strong close in prices at Sydney and Melbourne wool auctions last week flowed straight on to the online auction, which also had a 98 per cent clearance rate.

A strong close in prices at Sydney and Melbourne wool auctions last week flowed straight on to the online auction, which also had a 98 per cent clearance rate.

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Kick in wool prices flows through from auctions to online offer systems.

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For the first time in many weeks, Australian wool prices had positive growth last week.

Not since early April has the market seen double-figure increases in the Australian Wool Exchange Eastern Market Indicator.

During April, the indicator gained 20 cents a kilogram to reach 1301c/kg. But, since then, it had fallen by 122c/kg.

During last week, the indicator gained back 9c/kg at sales on Tuesday and 4c/kg at sales on Wednesday to close at 1183c/kg.

A 6.6 per cent pass in rate across the week at the physical auctions highlights that growers are keen to sell wool at current levels.

The positive move of the market is good news for the industry, which is still being impacted by COVID-19.

However, no doubt the low supplies being offered are the real factor at play here.

Some business is being conducted, but the lack of supply is keeping the market's head above water.

At Week 49 of online wool auctions held on AuctionsPlus last week, Elders Wool and Nutrien Ag Solutions Wool both offered lines from Western Australia - with 255 bales going up across 42 lots.

The strong close of the physical market flowed straight on to the online auction, which had a 98 per cent clearance rate.

The usual buyers logged in to participate, along with 17 growers who viewed the sale.

Online, a lot of 16-micron Merino fleece wool, with a very low vegetable matter of 0.1 per cent topped the sale, fetching 1160c/kg (greasy). This was branded KNOWSLEY and offered by Nutrien Ag Soultions.

A line of 16.9-micron Merino weaners fleece, which measured 67 millimetres in length, sold for 904c/kg (greasy). This lot was branded SUBASIO DOWNS and offered by Elders.

Also last week, 321 bales were sold online through the AuctionsPlus Wool Offer Board.

On this platform, 16 and 17-micron fleece wool sold up to 1022c/kg and 1070c/kg (greasy) and 18 and 19-micron fleece wool sold up to 1000c/kg and 966c/kg.

The top priced lot sold on the offer board was a line of 15.9-micron AAA Merino fleece wool. This had a vegetable matter of 0.5 per cent, was 108mm in length and reached 1335c/kg (greasy). It was branded BELLEVUE/JFF/EUCUMBENE and offered by Jemalong Wool.

Looking ahead, while wool volumes remain low, there is some competition around in the market.

However, until social distancing measures are removed, global economies will take a battering and reduce confidence at the consumer level - hurting the wool industry.

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