The smallest offering since 2009 was presented to wool buyers last week in what would normally be the Easter recess.
The decision was made by the National Auction Selling Committee to conduct a one-day sale on Wednesday to offer wool growers an opportunity to sell after a ransomware cyber attack on the industry's main software supplier Talman halted sales back in February.
Just 18,097 bales were offered for sale last week, with 23.1 per cent, or 4180, passed in.
This was after 15.5pc of the catalogue was withdrawn prior to the sale.
The industry benchmark Eastern Market Indicator (EMI) closed the week at 1292 cents a kilogram, a drop of just 9c/kg on the previous week.
In US currency terms, the EMI was 825c/kg, a 25c/kg rise on the week before.
Australian Wool Exchange reported that the market opened positively in the eastern states with minimal price movements recorded in early trade.
However, as the sale progressed, the market began to retract.
"So much so, that the western region [which sold last], recorded losses in the individual Micron Price Guides (MPGs) for 20 micron and finer of between 21 and 44c/kg," AWEX said.
"Melbourne managed to record mainly positive overall movement, [with] the southern MPGs in the 19 micron and finer range [gaining] between 1 and 16c/kg for the series.
"The northern MPGs fell across the board, with losses of between 2 and 11c/kg."
Fox & Lillie Rural wool broker Andrew Hendy, Horsham, said there was a big difference in the price of lower yielding wool to that of higher yielding wool.
"Anything over 66pc yield is seeing a little premium, and anything that's under 66pc yield is hard to sell at the moment," Mr Hendy said.
"And we're seeing a fair bit of dusty wool coming through."
He said they were beginning to see a stockpile build up as growers passed in their wool.
"In the area that I cover, everyone's had a good cropping, lamb year with commodity prices, so they're willing to take a punt [and hold off selling]," he said.
AWEX said a large reason for the fall in the EMI was that the gains in the southern Merino MPGs were offset by losses in the crossbred MPGs, which fell by 19 to 46c/kg.
The EMI has fluctuated in the last few weeks since coronavirus has impacted trade across the world, but all in all has lost about 150c/kg.
Year-on-year, the EMI is down 33.5pc or 651c/kg.
Almost 153,000 less bales have been offered this season in comparison to the same time last season.
Last week, in the Merino fleeces, Lempriere Wool was the biggest buyer, snapping up 14.8pc of the offering, while Tianyu was just behind, securing 14.7pc.
In the Merino skirtings section, Endeavour Wool bought 23.3pc, West Coast Wool bought 14.4pc and United Wool bought 13.9pc.
Wool sales will resume as normal this week with about 31,500 bales expected to be sold on Tuesday and Wednesday.
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