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New Zealand's wool market picked up at the latest weekly auctions across the North and South Islands yesterday.
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, while the average price for 35-micron crossbred wool increased 20 cents to $4.13/kg, according to AgriHQ. Bucking the trend, fine crossbred wool slipped 9 cents 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, AgriHQ said.
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," said AgriHQ analyst Sam Laurenson. "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 yesterday's double sale, with 82% sold, according to New Zealand Wool Services International. That compares with an 89% 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.