New Year cheer for wool growers

18 Jan, 2013 03:00 AM
Elaine wool grower Tim Wells, with grandsons Jack and Cooper Jones, inspect a clip of the 14.8 micron wool which sold at 1449 cents/kilogram.
Elaine wool grower Tim Wells, with grandsons Jack and Cooper Jones, inspect a clip of the 14.8 micron wool which sold at 1449 cents/kilogram.

SELLERS left the Wool Stores at Melbourne last week buoyed by new-year price rises, with gains on all three day’s sales.

The sale of more than 10,000 bales on Wednesday, part of a slightly larger offering than the same week last year, had largest rises of 14-19 cents in the 17-20 micron range.

Tim Wells, from Windy Hill, Elaine, about half-way between Geelong and Ballarat, was happy with his day’s returns on Wednesday, part of an 11 cents per kilogram rise following a 20c/kg boost the day before.

“If we could guarantee something like that for three to five years, it would be good for all wool-growers,” he said.

Mr Wells’s top-priced, 14.8M Merino wool bale sold for 1449 cents/kilogram greasy to Sky Wool, with another two bales of 15.5M fleece selling at 1380c/kg.

Mr Wells averaged 1039c/kg and 17.0M over his nine lots, and sold three more bales than last year, with all heavier.

“Production was down a little bit, but quality up a mile,” he said.

Restocking after the dry spell, the Wells currently have a 1400-head flock.

Western District producer David Linke also left satisfied, topping at 1016c/kg greasy for a 17.6M bale, yielding 73.3 per cent.

A bale of weaners’ wool also sold to 1016c/kg, with an average over nine lots of 978c/kg for the fine-wool Penshurst grower.

Mr Linke said his fleece had averaged 18.8M this season – a micron finer than last year – with prices up.

“The finer side could have been a little better, but (I’m) very happy, I think we might have been better than last year’s prices,” he said.

Mr Linke offered a total of 113 bales (including lambs’ wool), 27 bales less than last year, and said the season was to blame.

“From October 2011 to April 2012 there was hardly any rain, then (we had) a very wet winter – which was tough on stock – and it dried up again last spring,” he said.

Arcadian Wool’s Graeme Cameron said some of his clients tended to target the sale, and the opening market was positive across all micron categories, with high-quality fleeces presented.

“The sheep cut well, the Newtons were good on them, yield was high – the growers can’t do much more,” he said.

“Some of our super fine clients did get a bit of support from New England (Wool), and I hope that continues.”

Landmark’s Phillip Lipscombe said it was a very strong opening to the market.

“(It was) a large offering, and an even larger offering (this) week,” he said.


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