THE wool market benefited once again from the weak rand and the Cape Wools Merino indicator gained 1.9% on the previous week to close at R114.25/kg (clean).
The rand slid to its lowest level in four years against the US dollar. It was trading at an average rate of R9.17 against the dollar, which was down 1.7% on last week's average. At R11.93, it was 1.5% weaker against the euro.
The week's offering comprised 7996 bales of which 99% was sold. Officials say receipts into brokers' stores to date are 9.5% higher compared with the same period last season.
Major buyers were Standard Wool (2180 bales), Modiano (1964), Lempriere SA (1661), and Stucken & Co (1311). Prices increased across the board, but 19 microns and 20.5 microns gained most, with an average rise of 1.8%.
Average clean prices for different categories of good top-making (MF5), long fleeces were:
18 microns were up 1.1% at R124.51/kg; 18.5 microns gained 0.7% at R122.18/kg; 19 microns were 1.8% dearer at R121.27/kg; 19.5 microns gained 1.3% to R117.87/kg; 20 microns rose 1.5% to R114.48/kg; 20.5 microns gained 1.8% to R113.52/kg; 21 microns rose 1.4% to R112.98/kg; 21.5 microns were 0.7% dearer at R112.51/kg, and 22 microns were up 1.4% to close at R112.88/kg.
Sales resume on March 27.