The JSE board in Sandton, Johannesburg. Picture: Leon Nicholas

Port Elizabeth - The South African wool market held up well at the first sale of the new year, Cape Wools said on Wednesday.

Company spokeswoman Lizelle Delport said Cape Wools’ Merino indicator softened by a marginal 1.4 percent to close the day at R115.67/kg (clean).

“This is a 13.5 percent increase on the opening sale and is up almost 6.1 percent on the corresponding sale last year.”

Delport said the local market seemed to follow the international trend, as the Australian market had also decreased by 1.3 percent.

The better style wools were much sought after, and traders supported the 20 micron and finer types well.

The average price for good top making types of 18 microns gained 2.1 percent.

Delport said this week's offering was fairly large at 13,146

bales, of which 95 percent was sold.

Major buyers were Standard Wool (3716), Lempriere (3458), Modiano (2301) and Stucken & Co (1415).

The next national sale was scheduled for January 22, when an estimated 16,500 bales would be on offer.