This week was the first sale of the new season, and saw over 50,000 bales rostered for sale in all three selling centres. The market opened on a softer note early, but firmed slightly as the day went on in the finer microns to close basically unchanged for the day.  21 and broader failed to regain the early losses to close 5 to 10 cents cheaper, there were similar movements in the xbreds and cardings.

Word from Australia’s largest exporter was that China were starting “to nibble” on Wednesday night, and it wouldn’t take much volume to be sold to underpin the market. High VM continues to dominate the selection, these will struggle to find support.

Everyone by now should be aware that it’s been a great selling season for finer merinos, with 18.0 micron up over 35% on 12 months ago, trading in the 95th percentile, or in the top 5% of prices of the last 10 years.

Finer xbreds, believe it or not finished up the year only marginally cheaper than a year ago with 28.0 mic down 2.5% to put some perspective around that level of 761 cents is in the 85th percentile of the last 10 years.

Unfortunately for the broad xbreds 32.0 micron are literally half the value of 18 months ago, and at 380 cents they’re languishing in the 38th percentile. Our industry mail is that this is likely to be 12 to 18 month cyclical low point for 32.0 and broader, mainly due to the excessive supply globally, and it will take 12 months at least to clear this glut.

The end of the season also marks the release of national buyer’s list for the year. Techwool finished the year head and shoulders ahead of second place with a staggering 255500 bales purchased for the season. Rough numbers work this out to be $380 million worth of wool bought. An amazing achievement for a family owned business to transact that kind of volume.

All eyes will be on next week to see what tone the market finishes on heading into the break, a strong finish will make it easier for exporters to travel and sell some volume over the recess.

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