The wool market can't seem to catch a break, with prices continuing on their downward trend last week, this time to their lowest levels since 2002.
In week 10 of the 2020/21 season, the wool industry's Eastern Market Indicator (EMI) closed at 858 cents a kilogram, a 71c/kg reduction on the week before.
The western market returned after a one-week hiatus, pushing the national quantity up by around 8500 bales on the week before, to total almost 29,000.
This total was up by 3499 bales or 1.6 per cent on the corresponding sale of last year.
The increased offering did nothing to entice any additional competition, with price reductions evident as soon as the sales started.
After two sale days, Fremantle, WA, recorded the biggest reduction, losing 94c/kg on their previous sale, to close at 895c/kg.
Yet prices at Melbourne remained the lowest of the three centres, closing the week at 819c/kg.
And sellers weren't keen on accepting these reduced prices, passing in 21.5pc of the offering, up 10.3pc on the week prior's passed-in rate.
National Council of Wool Selling Brokers of Australia executive director Chris Wilcox said after some tentative and slightly encouraging signs the week before, a slump in the US dollar against the Australian dollar squashed any hope of prices stabilising.
"The Australian wool market can't take a trick," Mr Wilcox said.
"The US dollar slumped [last] week after the US Federal Reserve announced a softening of its inflation targeting.
"As a result, the Australian dollar rose by 1.6 UScents against the Australian dollar.
"It was also stronger against the Renminbi and the Euro."
He said as a result, the EMI fell by proportionately less, down by 37 UScents to 631 USc/kg.
"In all three currencies, the EMI is now back to levels seen in 2009 when the Global Financial Crisis hit," he said.
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Australian Wool Network Fremantle wool manager Greg Tilbrook said the sale was another "tough day in the market".
Mr Tilbrook said buyers were being very picky with their selections.
"They're definitely looking at fresh wool," he said.
"Older wools that have possibly got more mid-break issues and tensile strength issues, they're certainly going around them."
He said generally, there were not a lot of orders coming through.
"It's pretty tough selling at the moment," he said.
"Hopefully we'll find a level soon and things will start to look better and we'll see some upside."
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