The international financial crisis continues to impact on wool prices.
Lower prices were seen across the board at the North Island wool sale in Napier on Thursday, following two weeks of increases.
New Zealand Wool Services International says currency fluctuations, which would normally have driven wool prices up, had no effect, and the main wool markets remained cautious.
More than a quarter of the 11,000 bales on offer failed to sell.
Apart from a flurry of business by Asian buyers in the past fortnight, WSI says most other markets have either withdrawn or significantly reduced buying activity.
Fine crossbreds and hogget wools were up to 3% cheaper.
Good style coarse crossbred fleece and early shorn were 3% - 5% cheaper, with the poorer style fleece and shorter shears down by 1% - 2%.
Combing oddments eased 2% - 3%, with shorter categories dropping 3% - 5%.
The main competition came from China and Australasian carpets mills, supported by India, the Middle East and Western Europe.
Next week's sale of over 12,000 South Island bales, including a high percentage of merino and mid micron wools, will be held in Christchurch.