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Wool Prices End Season on a Quiet Note

After a volatile May, wool prices in U.S. dollar terms were relatively flat in June, according to reports from the Australian Wool Exchange, allowing the 2013-2014 selling season to end on a quiet note.

Much of the prior month’s price declines were a result of tighter credit by banks in China, which reduced that country’s buying power. Lack of Chinese demand continued to be felt in June, as relatively weak demand resulted in low volume and small price moves.

The Eastern Market Index finished the month down 0.4% to $4.36 per pound, and has fallen 3 percent compared to the same week last year.

The 2013-2014 selling season, though officially over, unofficially wraps up in another two weeks. It can be best described as having had a strong early surge in late August 2013 followed by steady price declines through April that bottomed out in May.

An increasing supply of fine Merino counts throughout the year, presumably in response to healthier high-end businesses in Europe, Japan and the U.S., caused price pressure at the better end of the market. However, many feel that the Merino prices have bottomed out, setting the stage for a healthier balance going into next season.