PRICES dropped at this week's sale in an apparent downward correction following the sharp increases in the past months, and the Cape Wools Merino indicator shed 2.8% to close at R110.70/kg (clean).
This is still up almost 27% on the opening level and 9% higher than at the same sale last season. Traders reported orders as "patchy" with complaints from some quarters about the current high price levels.
The rand was fairly unchanged against the US dollar, trading at an average rate of R8.81, which was up a negligible 0.1% on the average rate at the previous sale, while it was considerably stronger against the euro, trading at R11.53 – up 2.6%.
The offering comprised 7510 bales of which 99% was sold.
Major buyers were Lempriere SA (2214 bales), Standard Wool (1726 bales), Modiano SA (1502 bales) and Stucken & Co (1092 bales).
Prices were down across the board with the finer long fleeces posting the biggest declines.
The average clean prices for the different categories of good top-making (MF5), long fleeces were as follows: 18 microns were down 5.9% at R119.27/kg, 18.5 microns shed 3.1% to R121.33/kg, 19 microns were 4.3% cheaper at R117.94/kg, 19.5 microns dropped 4% to R111.49/kg, 20 microns were down by 2.8% at R111.47/kg, 20.5 microns decreased by 3.8% to R109.15/kg, 21 microns weakened 2.3% to R109.45/kg, 21.5 microns were 1.8% cheaper at R109.52/kg, and 22 microns shed 2,1% to close at R109.33/kg.