With the business climate expected to remain tough during the weeks before the Christmas recess, it’s no surprise to see a further decline in the market, with the Merino indicator softening by 3,4% to close at R42,64/kg (clean). According to Ona Viljoen of Cape Wools, 93% of the 9 868 bales on offer were cleared to the trade. “Prices of long fleeces of AWEX types 4 and 5 were generally softer across the full micron range, with the finer qualities posting relatively larger declines compared with the medium qualities,” she said.
Ken Craig of BKB said the indicator is now 28% lower than at the comparative sale a year ago, even though the rand has depreciated by 50% against the dollar over the same period. makes wool prices in US dollar terms 52% lower. “The drier conditions in most of the traditional wool growing areas are starting to show in the fresh wool offering. both quality and tensile strength remain satisfactory. Year-on-year, supply levels are around 5% lower,” he said.
Johan Louw of Mohair & Wool said wool prices have become affordable, enabling buyers to stock up. “But they’re getting uneasy about the possibility of the quality of the offering deteriorating. This could stimulate demand again,” he warned. T here was an increase in the number of producers who held back their wool, not wanting to sell below the reserve prices, said Louw. highest price was R52,50 for a six-bale AFH lot, 17,8 micron, offered by BJ Phillips from Barkly East and purchased by New England. – Roelof Bezuidenhout