Wool prices in retreat as coronavirus inflicts pain

More wool market stumbles as coronavirus saps confidence

Coronavirus
CHALLENGING TIMES: The spread of the coronavirus around the world is weighing heavily on the Australian wool market.

CHALLENGING TIMES: The spread of the coronavirus around the world is weighing heavily on the Australian wool market.

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This week's wool sales resumed in Melbourne this week against a backdrop of worldwide panic over coronavirus.

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Wool's benchmark Eastern Market Indicator tumbled another 19 cents when this week's sales resumed in Melbourne on Tuesday amid world panic about coronvirus.

The EMI landed on 1502c after 24.1 per cent of the Melbourne auction offering of 7782 bales was passed in.

The Southern Indicator shed 31c to 1467c a kg.

The market will come under more pressure tomorrow (Wednesday) when Sydney and Fremantle join Melbourne in offering a national catalogue of 22,240 bales.

It remains to be seen if the EMI can keep its head above the 1500c barrier although China, the dominant buyer, appears to be waking from its coronavirus nightmare.

By the end of the Melbourne sale 17.5 micron and finer Merino fleece had nosedived by 55-65c a kg while all broader microns eased back 35-45c.

Merino skirtings weren't as badly hit with better quality 18 micron and finer lines dropping 20c while 18.5 and coarser lots dropped by 40-50c and more in places.

Last week's sales saw a softening in prices on the back of fears about the impact of coronavirus on retail sales with the EMI shedding 41c to land on 1521c, a drop of 2.6 per cent.

Executive director of the National Council of Wool Selling Brokers of Australia, Chris Wilcox, said such a small drop was "amazing" given the pounding global equity markets had copped.

Prices were underpinned by a high pass-in rate of 25.5pc on the national offering of 43,579 bales and a falling Aussie dollar. In US dollar terms the EMI is sitting around 922c.

Last week's sales produced a turnover of $49.9 million bringing the total wool cheque so far this selling season to $1.517 billion ($1706 per bale).

A total 50,237 bales have been scheduled for sale this week including 11,777 in Fremantle, 29,345 in Melbourne and 9115 in Sydney but catalogues may be pruned by late withdrawals.

The story Wool prices in retreat as coronavirus inflicts pain first appeared on Farm Online.

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