SOME growers have sold tender superfine clips for a staggering $3000 a bale, as China keeps the heat in the wool market competition.
The Eastern Market Indicator (EMI) climbed a further 16 cents, week on week, to close at 1566 cents a kilogram at sales in Sydney, Melbourne and Fremantle this week where 37,519 bales were offered nationally.
The Northern Market Indicator rose by 27c to 1656c/kg, the Southern Market Indicator lifted by 11c to 1510c/kg and the Western Market Indicator was 13c higher at 1621c/kg.
The 2017-18 seasonal surge has pushed the EMI and the Western Market Indicator to 248c/kg and 246c/kg respectively higher than they were at the same time last year, or nearly 20pc.
The value of the wool sold was $67.8 million, according to Australian Wool Exchange, equating to an average bale price of $1,839, for a season total of nearly $844m so far.
The New Zealand Merino Company also offered 584 bales in Melbourne on Wednesday, of which 13.4 per cent were passed in.
Attention remains on fine Merino wools which recorded gains of 2pc up to 19.5 microns.
The price gap between top quality and poorer quality fine wools narrowed in recent weeks, with some of the Italian weavers type regarded as the best value.
The 19m and broader Merino wools were also hot property with prices escalating by from 10 to 40c week-on-week.
Merino skirting types followed suit to the fine wools with the 18.5m and finer most sought and an estimated 50c higher this week.
The increased competition has been attributed to a substantial clothing order from the US which has caused a China mill to become extremely active.
Prices for broader Merino wool slightly increased, but in the case of 22m wool, prices in Fremantle eased.
Cardings slowly continued to rise and added 30c, as crossbred prices fell 35c for the week due to low buyer interest.
Next week a larger offering of 46,500 bales will hit the national market with agents expecting prices to sustain.
National Council of Wool Selling Brokers of Australia chief executive Chris Wilcox reported no sign of a consistent lift in auction offering volumes in the next few weeks, which he said could be causing some concern to international buyers keen on securing supplies.
Mr Wilcox said the Northern Hemisphere winter period was crucial for the sale of wool garments, with October to January accounting for an estimated 60pc of the annual consumption of wool clothing in Europe, China, Japan, the United States and South Korea.
He said retail sales during this period determine the level of orders placed by retailers for the subsequent winter period.
Mr Wilcox said consumer confidence was high in the US, with EU reflecting pre-GFC levels, and Asia was on the rise.
“Clothing retail sales in China, Germany, France and the UK so far in 2017 are above the growth rates seen in 2016 as we head towards the Autumn/Winter season,” he said.
“The growth rate in the United Kingdom is particularly strong, but this is a rebound from the dismal decline seen in 2016.
“Retail sales growth in the US, South Korea and Italy are all below the rate achieved in 2016 to August.”