Wool Manager’s Report

This week saw 40,000 bales offered nationally selling on Wednesday and Thursday in all three selling centers. The market opened strongly on the reduced volume with all merino categories rallying between 30 and 60 cents clean in early trade. Better types were most affected with high nkt, low vm very keenly sought. This was particularly apparent in the skirtings, with the Tasmanian offering selling exceptionally well, because of the light fault. Important to note the xbreds also firmed slightly in a small offering. Interestingly one large Tasmanian xbred clip was bought heavily by one of our Tasmanian origin brand partners, for a 100% Tasmanian order. Great to see the work we’re doing developing Tasmanian Merino is now carrying across into other types.

Supply drops off pretty quickly from here on in with offerings in the mid 30,000 bales, this should help underpin any downside in the short term. Plus the fact that a lot of the major exporters are on the right side of the market, i.e many have been trading profitably during the recent rally. Making up for those that were caught by the rise earlier in the season and lost a bit of money. From a grower’s point of view we need the exporters trading profitably to give them confidence to continue selling into this rising market and diminishing supply, which should again limit any downside.

I’m writing this report from the 86th International Woollen Textile Organisation (IWTO) conference in Harrogate, UK. With around 250 participants from every country involved in the wool trade. The mood is positive from everyone I’ve spoken to which is great. There is a lot of talk about the market into the future with several different opinions. Most feel it should remain strong for the short term, but that growers should still sell into this market straight away, rather than holding out for higher prices.

It’s wonderful to be involved in this event and to engage with people from around the world that share the common theme that they love this fiber and this industry and are glad it is making somewhat of a resurgence. If nothing else it demonstrates that no matter what field you want to work in there’s something for everyone in the wool industry; Design, finance, manufacturing, farming, marketing, media, economics and on it goes.

We’re hoping to consolidate our work around Tasmanian Merino during and after the conference and we look forward to reporting back to Tassie growers when we return.

For any queries please contact rcalvert@robertsltd.com.au