THE expected offering of almost 60,000 bales fell short by a considerable margin when less than 53,000 bales were eventually offered at this week’s markets.

The Eastern Market Indicator (EMI) followed the downward direction when it closed two cents lower on last week, at 1090 cents a kilogram.

Growers showed some reluctance to sell into the weakening market when 10 per cent of the catalogued total was withdrawn prior to sale, the highest in ten months.

A Melbourne-only sale on Tuesday continued the trend evident late in the previous week.

The MPG’s were all around 20 cents cheaper, mirroring the result of the previous Thursday, however, a stylish NZ catalogue demonstrated that strong support was still a reality for selected types.

Spinners and exceptionally sound best-style types all found good competition and sold to premiums over Australian wool.

Price levels tended to consolidate over the remainder of the week, although mixed signals appeared on Thursday, the final sale day.

Both east coast centres showed a firming attitude, especially in the medium/broader range, where there was a lift of 10 cents, while Fremantle lost some ground late in the day at their small offering.

Merino skirtings had varied results but generally added to last week’s increases with further gains at this sale.

Crossbreds continued to attract interest although the speed of their ascent has slowed in recent weeks. This sale there was generally a rise of five cents.

Merino cardings were also steadier this week after a strong rise last sale, closing with only slight movements.

Less than 50,000 bales are forecast for next week, with subsequent weeks expected to recede as we move towards autumn.

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