Last week was the final week of Australian wool auctions before the annual mid-year, three-week recess.
Strong buying competition and a 93 per cent clearance rate nationally resulted in price rises of 10-30 cents a kilogram across the board.
The Australian Wool Exchange (AWEX) Eastern Market Indicator (EMI) finished the week at 1134c/kg, which was up 20c/kg on the previous week.
In US Dollar terms, the EMI close was 787c/kg, which was an increase of 12c/kg.
Exporters competing to secure supplies before the auction recess were the main drivers of price and demand last week.
With the chaos of 2020 looming constantly over wool auctions, it was good to see some positive movement and signs of strength at national sales.
Sellers were evidently happy to accept the prices on offer, with a low 7 per cent passed in rate.
Last week was the second consecutive week that the EMI increased, which has been an unforeseen strong start to the 2020-21 selling season.
The biggest movements were recorded at the Melbourne auctions, where 17.5-micron wool rose by 63c/kg to finish at 1581c/kg and 17-micron wool lifted by 54c/kg to finish at 1658c/kg.
At the start of AuctionsPlus online auction sales, 96 bales were offered by Jemalong Wool.
Reflecting the strong note to the auction finish, wool buyers came online and there was a 61 per cent clearance post-sale.
The sale saw the usual buyers in attendance, along with several growers and brokers.
The top priced lot was a line of AAA Merino lambs fleece with a fibre diameter of 19.9-micron wool, which sold for 800c/kg greasy - and 16-micron fleece wool sold up to 680c/kg.
Buyer demand was reflected at the AuctionsPlus Online Offer Board, with 454 bales selling for the week.
Lines of 17 and 18-micron fleece wool sold to 1205c/kg and 995c/kg (greasy), or 1622c/kg and 1361c/kg (clean).
Lots of 19 and 20-micron fleece wool sold to 890c/kg and 850c/kg (greasy), or 1259c/kg and 1163c/kg (clean).
The top priced lot sold on the Online Offer Board was a line of AAAA fine 17.3-micron fleece wool. This had a very low vegetable matter of 0.4 per cent and was 91 millimetres in length. Offered by Elders Melbourne, it was branded Spring Cottage and sold for 1205c/kg (greasy), or 1622c/kg (clean).
As we have seen this year, a lot can happen in three weeks.
Whatever develops globally during this period will impact on what the wool industry can expect when physical auctions return.
A Victorian lockdown and border closures have somewhat blunted confidence in the local market.
But wool continues to sell online, with 72 bales selling on Friday July 10.