THE wool market rose sharply at the final sale before the Christmas break, with the Cape Wools Merino indicator reaching a record high, rising 7% on the previous week to close at R109.91/kg, Cape Wools SA said on Wednesday.

The industry body said the price was not only higher than last season’s highest level, but was also a 25.8% increase on the opening sale.

As a result, the price was up almost 12% on the corresponding sale last year.

Cape Wools SA noted that the market had also posted considerable increases in Australia.

It said competition in the sales room at the final sale included a large offering of 15,723 bales, the largest in the past two seasons, leading to a high sales percentage of 99% being obtained.

Prices rose across the board, with those of 19-micron long fleece wools up almost 8%.

Major buyers were Modiano SA (4,726 bales), Standard Wool SA (4,288 bales), Lempriere SA (3,039 bales) and Stucken & Co (2,136 bales).

The rand, at R8.82 to the dollar, was 0,8% stronger compared with last week’s average exchange rate. However, at R11.47 against the euro, it had lost 0.6% on average of its value.

Sales will resume on January 9 next year.