FEARS of shortages of below 18 micron super and superfines wools have pushed AWEX’s eastern wool market indicator to near record levels.
With sales resuming after the three week Christmas recess, processors rushed this week’s two day, 51,379 bale sale resulting in AWEX’s eastern market indicator jumping 67c to 1422c - only 3c/kg below the record high set in 2011.
Elders northern wool manager Bruce McLeish said restricted wool supplies and increased coming out of China were front of mind for processors.
“We were certainly expecting a rise in the market of 20-30c but to see a jump of 67c to almost a new high is fantastic,” Mr McLeish said.
“Prices for skiriting, bellies, locks and crutchings are already at record highs and some growers are celebrating the highest ever bale average prices.”
Mr McLeigh said a 60 bale New England clip averaged $2400/bale while wool from Western Queensland was averaging $1750 to $2000/bale depending on vegetable matter.
“The amount of burr in Western Queensland is certainly an issue,” he said.
According to the AWEX summary net results for the week were widespread increases of 70c to 150c.
“The finer microns enjoyed the most support and extended their premiums over the broader microns which had less extreme rises,” the summary reads.
“Buyers scrambled for quantity for most of the week, pushing lower spec types along with the better types. It was only on the final day when buyers became more selective and some of the lesser types saw a slowing in their momentum.”
According to AWEX Merino skirtings gained 50c to 100c with the superfine types most affected. In line with pre-Christmas trends the crossbred market was again fairly lack lustre compared to the Merino catalogue.
“The finer microns were reasonably steady but 30-microns and coarser fell as much as 30c. Although the rises were more sedate than the fleece sector, the oddment market performed very strongly this week and Merino carding indicators in all three centres rose on every selling day. The lift of 30 to 40c pushed all three carding indicators to record levels.”
Wool sales continue next week with an expected 52,000 bale sale week followed by the forecast of two 42,000 bale sales in the following weeks.