THIS week's wool sale in Port Elizabeth saw a sharp increase in prices compared with last week and the Cape Wools Merino indicator gained 8.3% to close at R96.86/kg (clean).
This was due to a much weaker rand, an increase in the Australian market and possibly also as a result of buyers filling export quotas.
After almost touching R9 to the dollar on Monday, the rand made a slight comeback but at R8.71 was still 3.8% down against the dollar compared with the average rate at the previous sale.
It was a small sale with only 6491 bales on offer of which 99% were sold.
Major buyers were Standard Wool SA (2546 bales), Modiano SA (1248), Lempriere SA (1087) and Stucken & Co (931).
Fine wools were in keen demand with prices increasing significantly. The quality of the fine wools offered was excellent.
Medium wool, particularly 22 microns, was also highlysought after.
The average clean prices for the different categories of good top-making (MF5), long fleeces were:
18 microns gained 7.8% at R107.02/kg, 18.5 microns rose 6.4% to R104.60/kg, 19 microns were 5.6% dearer to close at R101.57/kg, 19.5 microns gained 5.3% to R99.58/kg, 20 microns were 6.2% dearer at R96.64/kg, 20.5 microns gained 6.9% at R96/kg, 21 microns rose 7% to R95.61/kg, 21.5 microns were up 7.3% at R94.65/kg and 22 microns were up 8% to close at R93.58/kg.
About 9000 bales will be offered at next week's sale.