Week 23 on the Australian wool selling programme hosted the penultimate sale of the 2018 calendar year. The quantity on offer increased slightly and 38,315 bales were available to the trade. This means that the amount of wool offered so far this year, is 162,043 bales less than at the same point in the previous season, a reduction of over 18%. The merino sector performed solidly, recording gains across most microns, only a lack of interest in some inferior types and reduced buyer demand on wool with poor additional measurement results, prevented the Micron Price Guides (MPGs) posting larger increases than they did.
Superfine wool enjoyed the largest gains, 17.0 micron and finer were generally 20 to 30 cents. Although the merino fleece sector recorded overall gains, the AWEX Eastern market indicator (EMI) lost 11 cents, closing at 1,849 cents. In a complete contrast to the previous sale, this was mainly due to large losses experienced in the crossbred sector.
Due to currency movements, when viewed in USD terms, the EMI lost 25 cents. After recording large gains at the previous sale, the crossbred market has had a quick reversal. Wool 30.0 micron and finer lost between 70 and 130 cents. The sharp reduction in price was met with firm seller resistance, by the end of the week over nearly 20% of crossbred wool was passed in. After three weeks of sustained price rises the oddment market lost ground this week. Locks, stains and crutchings generally fell by 10 to 20 cents. These reductions pushed the three carding indicators down by an average of 14 cents. Next week is the final sale before the annual three-week Christmas recess. This is the final selling opportunity until January and quantities have increased. Currently, there is 48,777 bales rostered for sale in Sydney, Melbourne and Fremantle.