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  1. Little change in wool market this week
    10:01, Friday, 10 May 2002

    Sydney - Friday - May 10: (RWE) - Conditions in the wool market
    were little changed this week with auction prices decreasing 0.3 per
    cent on average at sales in Sydney and Melbourne, the Australian Wool
    Industries Secretariat reports.
    The AWEX eastern market indicator lost 3c to end the week at
    922c a kilogram clean.
    This reflected an increase of 1c to 932c in the north and a fall
    of 5c to 914c in the southern market.
    With no sale in Fremantle this week, the western region
    indicator remained at 886c.
    Of the 48,391 bales offered for sale 17.3 per cent were passed
    in, comprising 16.5pc in Sydney and 17.9pc in Melbourne.
    "Apart from the variation in weekly offerings caused by
    Fremantle now selling in alternate weeks to the end of the season, the
    key factors influencing auction demand and supply remain balanced at
    present," the AWIS said.
    "The market is very firm from the trade's viewpoint and
    woolgrowers have experienced a period of relatively stable prices in
    recent weeks," the Secretariat said.
    On the demand side, it said competition was led by Itochu, which
    operates on a global basis and for many years has been the largest buyer
    at auction.
    There was also support from Australian topmakers and some buying
    for China, along with reports this week of increased activity from some
    European quarters.
    Sales continue next week in Sydney, Melbourne and Fremantle with
    71,200 bales rostered for sale.

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