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NZ wool market improves at double auction

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 16/03/2017 Tina Morrison

New Zealand's wool market has picked up at the latest weekly auctions across the North and South island.

Compared with the last double auction a fortnight ago, the average price for 30-micron lamb wool rose 25 cents to $4.25 a kilogram on Thursday, while the average price for 35-micron crossbred wool increased 20c to $4.13/kg, according to AgriHQ.

Bucking the trend, fine crossbred wool slipped 9c to $4.15/kg. Prices in the North Island had generally increased, while South Island prices were weaker, bringing prices for comparable wool types to similar levels in both islands.

Market conditions have been less buoyant during this year's main shearing season, amid lacklustre demand from China, New Zealand's largest export market, and that's seen some woolgrowers hold back their bales from auction.

Much of the pick-up in the wool market this week "is due to speculative traders buying while the market is low and waiting for the market to lift in the future," AgriHQ analyst Sam Laurenson said.

"Wool continues to be stockpiled by farmers, and a further increase would be required to see product being released."

Some 17,978 bales were offered at Thursday's double sale, with 82 per cent sold, according to New Zealand Wool Services International.

That compares with an 89 per cent clearance rate for the 15,209 bales offered at the last double auction.

The next wool auction on March 23 will include about 7900 bales from the South Island.

Wool is New Zealand's 16th largest commodity export, according to the latest annual figures from Stats NZ.

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