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Wool market’s relentless rise continues

Reported by:
Annabelle Cleeland

THE wool market continued its unrelenting rise this week climbing a further 24 cents a kilogram week-on-week – marking the seventh consecutive week the Eastern Market Indicator (EMI) has increased.

The EMI closed at 1546c/kg, a 26 per cent hike on year-ago levels.

Fine microns continued to lead the price charge, in particular 18.5m and finer, which gained a further 60 to 100c/kg.

National Council of Wool Selling Brokers of Australia chief executive Chris Wilcox reported the EMI has jumped 181c/kg in United States dollar terms since the Christmas recess and by US219c/kg since the start of the 2016/17 season.

He said ultrafine and superfine wool had received the major gains with increases from US371-469c/kg since the recess and US498-639c/kg since the start of the season.

Australian Wool Exchange senior market analyst Lionel Plunkett said the record prices had brought previously unwilling sellers to market, pushing the amount of wool being held in storage to historical lows.

“The lack of wool on hold has severely limited any large increases in weekly quantities, enabling the market to gradually rise without any extra supply pressure and this sale was no exception,” Mr Plunkett said.

“With clearance rates consistently in the 90 per cent region the amount of wool on hold will continue to stay at these levels.”

Nearly 43,000 bales were offered to the trade nationally for a total value of $68.1 million, or $1595 a bale.

In spite of the lift in United States interest rates, the Australian dollar slightly lifted to close at 76.9USc. Consequently the EMI in US terms climbed 43c to close at US1188c/kg.

Fremantle closed signs of softening prices in coarser wool which with some types coming back up to 25c.

Mr Plunkett said finer microns continued to widen the micron price differentials, with 18m and 21m nearly 700c/kg difference.

He said while the skirting market closely mirrored the competitive fleece gains, crossbred wools performed well with the major price lifts from 25-26m up 10-30c.

Oddments struggled to sustain current high levels and fell 5-15c for the week with finer better types least affected.

More than 51,000 bales are scheduled nationally to be offered at sales in Sydney, Melbourne and Fremantle.​

Caption:  The wool price continued its historic climb this week with a further 24c rise to close the week with the EMI at 1546c/kg.

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