It was another week of the greasy wool market generally rolling along, with few changes in price levels. Prices looked even more stable in US dollar terms. Away from the market indicators there has been some improvement in discounts for vegetable matter, especially for broader merino categories, and there were some red hot prices paid for specialty superfine lots which had good specifications and were also RWS accredited.
The pleasing aspect of this is that after a year of high fine micron premiums there is still good demand for these categories. On the topic of RWS accredited wool, South African auctions started the season this week with 4,290 bales of RWS merino wool sold. Prices and premiums in South Africa continue to struggle in relation to levels before their recent outbreak of Foot and Mouth disease.
Access to China, where most of the clip normally goes for processing, continues to be barred hence the weaker prices. In Melbourne some 1,741 bales of RWS accredited crossbred wool was sold on Thursday, which looks to be the biggest weekly volume (along with 152 Australian bales) of RWS accredited crossbred wool sold. For the time being the market continues to meander along.
Fine micron premiums for carding wool look to be easing slightly, helping add to the wide variation in prices seen for differently specified fine wool. The best 17 micron fleece wool this week attracted spinner style premiums not often seen in the market during the past decade.
The greasy wool market looks to be following a similar pattern to the one seen in 2021, where prices peaked in June and then weakened into the early spring, before drifting along until November. Thankfully we seemed to have avoided the strong August downturns seen in 2019 and 2020.
Exporters are showing some confidence in broader merino prices through forward bids which are pitched close to auction levels. Vegetable matter discounts shrank again this week for broader merino categories. Supply trends should continue to be favourable for further shrinking in these discounts through to the end of 2022.
The Kiwis blew the socks off RWS crossbred supplies this week, selling 1,741 bales in Melbourne on Thursday, with an additional 152 bales of Australian RWS crossbred wool sold. It will be interesting to see if increased volumes of this wool can kick start some demand for the crossbred categories.