The Australian wool market has eased slightly as lackluster demand and a strong local currency have failed to incite buyers to break from their top up buying activity. Lower spec types were again largely ignored or discounted in favor of better style wool and the gap between the mediocre and the best widened further.
Superfine and medium merino indicators all retreated by 20 to 40 cents as buyers operated mostly on Chinese indent orders, which had been reduced in local currency terms before the sale thanks to a stronger Australian dollar. Shorter wool, pieces, lambs and cardings fared slightly better with lower volumes leading to a more or less unchanged price level while crossbred wools in the main continued to drift south.
The tone of the market seemed to improve a little by the end of the final day, and prices across the nation for the mainstream merino types are also similar, which is usually a sign for a more positive outcome the following week. Activity in the processing chain around the world continues to be mixed with reports from China less exuberant than other markets such as India and Europe. In China most mills are now back at work and given the general sluggishness of Chinese manufacturing sector workers returned on time from their holidays.