WOOL prices continued a rollercoaster ride for a third week in a row at the Western Wool Centre (WWC) last week, up one day and down the next.
But the overall trend for the week was again positive, making it two weeks out of three that WWC prices finished the week at better than what they started it.
The Western Indicator (WI) finished at 1677 cents a kilogram clean, up 15c for the week after jumping up 36c on Wednesday and giving back 21c on Thursday, according to Australian Wool Exchange (AWEX).
But significantly, the WI is still above the 1672c/kg where it finished a strong two-day week 17 rally while clawing back to parity with Melbourne and Sydney markets, meaning that despite the rollercoaster ride the WWC has retained and added to substantial gains of four weeks ago.
Last week's net gains were strongest for 18 and 19 micron fleece wools, up 22c to 1879c/kg and up 20c to 1827c/kg respectively, with smallest gains of 5c and 4c to 1791c/kg and 1750c/kg for 19.5 and 20 micron wools.
Fleece pass-in rates jumped from just over 7 per cent when the market was rising on Wednesday to 17pc when it was falling on Thursday, demonstrating seller resistance to lower prices according to AWEX technical controller at the WWC, Andrew Richwood.
Merino skirtings were the star of the week, defying Thursday's general pessimism to add a further 3c to finish up 48c for the week at 1111c/kg and with Westcoast Wool & Livestock showing most interest by far, followed by Techwool Trading and Tianyu.
Overall though, local trader PJ Morris wools was easily the biggest buyer last week at the WWC so remains top of the buyers list so far this season, having purchased 20.6pc of the wool sold.
Techwool Trading and Tianyu are clearly in second and third place, having bought 16.4pc and 9.7pc respectively.
One of the bales PJ Morris buyer Darren Calder secured last Thursday from the Primaries of WA catalogue raised about $2150 for the Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS).
The bale was donated by the Stud Merino Breeders Association of WA (SMBAWA) and the wool, averaging 18.3 microns with 94 millimetre staple length, 45N/kt staple strength and a yield of 65.4pc, sold to Morris for 1230c/kg greasy.
SMBAWA president, Scott Pickering of Derella Downs and Pyramid Poll Merino studs, Cascade, said some members who exhibited blade-shown fleece in the wool competition at the Perth Royal Show this year donated that wool for the bale.
"It's something we've been doing for a few years now because the money goes to a good cause," Mr Pickering said.
This week the WWC is scheduled to offer 8932 bales, a 41pc increase on last week's offering.
The national offering is set to increase 12.7pc to 40,726 bales.
After this week, there will be eight trading days left in the year at the WWC before wool auctions go into recess for three weeks over Christmas and the new year.