Stronger buyer demand in the finer microns helped drive prices higher across the country this week, with micron playing an important role in price movements in Australian wool sales.
However, the AWEX eastern market indicator (EMI) fell nine cents for the series to close at 1291 cents a kilogramme, clean, due to mixed movements across all micrometres.
The US dollar EMI moved in the opposite direction, rising US8c/kg to US996c/kg, owing to the Australian dollar’s 1.5pc strengthening against the US dollar.
The Easter break, according to the wool trade spokesperson for Australian Wool Innovation, enabled buyers and exporters to replenish their depleted bank accounts.
“The huge wool export expenditure for February and March shipments was largely responsible for bank account stress,” they said, “but that has improved with funds coming back into Australia.”
“The recess also gave some of the outstanding logistics delays a chance to catch up, but in a limited way, as the existing transportation problems persist.”
Originally, just under 50,000 bales were planned for auction, but due to a drop in prices on the first and second days of trading, many farmers withdrew their wool before the sale.
The national offering fell 7.5 percent to 46,256 bales, but Superfine Merino fleece and skirting styles finer than 18.5 micron drew more buyer interest, with gains of up to 80 cents.
In the south, the 17-micron forms reached 2172c/kg, the highest amount in nearly two years.
According to AWEX business information manager Lionel Plunkett, the price difference between microns has increased as finer microns have increased and coarser microns have decreased.
“The disparity between the southern 17 and 21 micron price guides exemplifies this,” Mr Plunkett said.
“Compared to a difference of 756c a month ago, this difference has risen to 927c.”
The demand for the medium/broad microns was not as high as the previous set, so these wools sold at lower prices.
The 19 to 22-micron categories dropped between 20 and 57 cents in all three areas, but those sale lots with better requirements, mostly higher yields and lower vegetable matter, were much less so, even though they were still cheaper.
The pricing for next week is close, with 45 554 bales available in all three sale centres.