After three weeks of consecutive losses the Australian wool market has steadied this week, managing to record small overall increases. An industry working group has been meeting daily to try to minimise the impact of COVID-19 on the Australian wool industry. One of the recommendations to come from this group, was to move wool auctions from enclosed rooms into more open-air environments, in effort to adhere to the strict social distancing rules dictated by the government.
This week the auction rooms in Melbourne and Fremantle moved out into open space made available on the showfloors. Sydney will follow suit for the upcoming sale.
Another COVID-19 driven decision made this week by the National Auction Selling Committee (NASC), was to schedule a wool sale in Week 42, which was an Easter recess, in an effort to maximise the amount of wool that can be traded before a potential shutdown.
Due to concerns over the possible disruption to supply, buyers were keen to take ownership of wool while they could. Main buyer focus was on the finer microns, pushing prices higher, the individual Micron Price Guides (MPGs) for 18.0 micron and finer rose by 6 to 39 cents across the country. The broader microns did not garner the same support, as a result the MPGs for 21 micron and coarser, fell by 23 to 26 cents for the series. The gains in the finer microns was enough to push the AWEX Eastern Market Indicator higher by 4 cents for the week, to close at 1,442 cents.
Worth noting, due to currency movement, when viewed in USD terms the gains were more considerable, the EMI rose by 53 USc for the series. Next week’s sale is slightly larger, as sellers scramble to get their wool to auction. Currently, there is 45,810 bales on offer in Sydney, Melbourne and Fremantle.