By Andrew Woods | Source: AWTA
AWTA core test volume data for October fully reflected the dry seasonal conditions of the past year. While the overall volume of wool tested was up by 3%, there were some big changes in individual micron categories with more fine merino wool and less 21-23 micron wool.
Figure 1 shows the change in volume for October and the three months to October by micron category (13 through to 23 micron) for AWTA data in Australia, compared to year earlier levels. The eye is drawn immediately to the big rises in 15 and 16 micron volumes.
The big increase in October is mirrored in quarterly increases, with season to date (July to October) volumes at record levels. There is a bucket load of 15 and 16 micron wool selling at present. This helps explain why the 16.5 MPG is down to rock bottom premiums to the 19.5 MPG.
In contrast, the supply of 19 through 17 micron wool was up by 10-20% - relatively tame rises. Twenty one to 23 micron volumes continue to fall against year earlier levels, with the 23 micron category continuing its great disappearing act.
Downward pressure on fine wool premiums is likely to be maintained, particularly for the 15 and 16 micron categories. Thank goodness the 21 micron category price is holding around 1200¢/kg clean, which is providing support for fine wool prices. Changes in the supply of other micron categories continues to favour the flattening of micron premiums and discounts.
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