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NZ wool auction sees varied selection, higher volumes

Friday 23rd September 2016

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New Zealand wool prices generally advanced at the country's latest weekly auction, which featured the greatest number of bales on offer in the season so far.

Some 7,576 of the total 11,000 bales on offer were sold at yesterday's South Island auction, marking the highest number offered and sold since the new season started in July, AgriHQ said. Wool volumes fluctuate during winter and spring, especially in the South Island, often due to weather related reasons.

There was a more varied selection of bales available compared with the previous week's North Island auction, as is usual for this time of year, AgriHQ said. Some 16.5 percent of the offering was for merino wool, 24 percent mid-micron, 24.7 percent fine crossbred and 18.6 percent strong crossbred. That compares with last week's North Island offering of 47.6 percent fine crossbred and 34.9 percent strong crossbred.

AgriHQ analyst Shaye Lee noted there was more activity for strong crossbred fibre compared with other wool types. The price for strong crossbred 39-micron wool rose to $5.15 a kilogram, from a 17-month low of $4.95/kg at last week's North Island auction and compared with $5.20/kg at the last South Island auction two weeks ago. The latest price is 6 percent below the five-year average and 14 percent weaker than year earlier levels.

"Most of the bales passed in the auction were reportedly from poorer quality merino and mid-microns," AgriHQ's Lee said. "While finer merino fleece traded at a premium on the last South Island auction, coarser end ones traded at a discount."

At the auction, 18-micron merino fleece rose to $16.20/kg from $16/kg at the comparable South Island auction two weeks ago, while 21-microns slipped to $13.70/kg from $13.20/kg.

Wool is New Zealand's 16th largest commodity export, according to the latest trade data, which showed the value of wool sold overseas fell 11 percent in the year through July to $732 million.

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