The lifting of the ban on exports from South Africa to China this week was a very good result for all concerned. It was a difficult period for the industry, particularly for those directly involved, but also the broader wool community. Whenever the normal flow of wool is compromised by external forces, uncertainty is created. Available finance has been pushed to the limit and variable market prices between the countries made trading conditions extremely difficult. The fact that the South African wool was selling at a discount to Australian prices until now, meant that the lifting of the ban must have been a strong influencing factor determining the direction of the market in Australia this week. Demand through the pipeline was already very poor. Now that the flow of wool is more transparent, we hope to see standard supply and demand factors to play out and for more confidence to return. Just 26,000 bales were eventually sold this week with 21% passed in rate. Growers backing their judgement that prices will remain stable in the medium term as supply will be very restricted. Less than 4,000 bales were sold in Fremantle with 45% of the merino fleece failing to meet grower expectations and will remain in store for another day.

AWEX Eastern Indicator compared with 10/05/2019

Eastern Indicator

Close: 1893

Change in % -3.02%

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Schneider Indicators compared with 10/05/2019

15 Micron

Close: 2,539

Change in %: -5.24%

16 Micron

Close: 2,394

Change in %: -2.59%

17 Micron

Close:  2,323

Change in %: -2.67%

18 Micron

Close: 2,234

Change in %: -2.51%

19 Micron

Close: 2,161

Change in %: -2.22%


Each indicator is expressed by a number representing a market quotation for a selected range of types and is not a price expression and it’s not influenced by currency fluctuations.

Wool indicators are anyway based on Australian Dollar.

If you want to learn more about SCHNEIDER indicators Click here.


The staple strength of the offering is actually quite good. According to AWEX figures, despite the drought, one third of the merino fleece offered this week was >40nkt and more than half of the merino fleece with a mid-break < than 50%. It’s the yield that is most restrictive to buyers for China in particular. The cheaper Australian dollar failed to add any support to wool prices.

Auction offering – current week

Selling Centres for week 46

Market          Sale          Offered             Sold       Passed In

North                    S 46                      8431                          7052                   16.4%

South                   M 46                     18302                       15097                  17.5%

West                     F 46                      6420                         3816                   40.6%


Auction offering – next week

Market          Sale          Sale days          Volume

North                   S 47                        W-T                             7100

South                   M 47                       W-T                           14032

West                     F 47                        W                                4505


If you want to see the complete Wool Sales Roster click here.