Bil­lion-dol­lar mark reached much ear­lier

Countryman - - WOOL -

The to­tal value of wool sold this sea­son has soared past the bil­lion­dol­lar mark, in a week dur­ing which the West­ern Mar­ket In­di­ca­tor rose by 20 cents a kilo­gram clean.

This week was only num­ber 17 on the Aus­tralian wool-sell­ing cal­en­dar and it was the first time since 2002 that the mile­stone was achieved so early in the sea­son.

At the cor­re­spond­ing sale last sea­son, only $800 mil­lion worth of wool had been sold, 26 per cent be­low the amount re­alised this year, even though to­tal num­ber of bales sold was only 12pc lower.

In the pre­vi­ous sea­son, the bil­lion­dol­lar amount was not achieved un­til week 21.

Af­ter the lack­lus­tre per­for­mance of re­cent weeks, the mar­ket gained sig­nif­i­cant pos­i­tive ter­ri­tory as strong buyer in­ter­est re­turned.

Al­though the fo­cus con­tin­ued to be on well mea­sured wools, all types and de­scrip­tions in each mi­cron range en­joyed sim­i­lar gains as buy­ers fought for mar­ket share.

Gen­er­ally, prices rose by 10 to 40 cents across the en­tire Merino spec­trum, push­ing the bench­mark Eastern Mar­ket In­di­ca­tor up 10 cents, to close the week at 1578 cents.

No­tably, the EMI lost 13 cents in US dol­lar terms be­cause of cur­rency move­ment.

WAFarm­ers Live­stock Sec­tion vice-pres­i­dent Steve McGuire said wool prices in gen­eral have been on the rise through­out 2017, with some pro­duc­ers hav­ing re­cently recorded their high­est re­turns in years.

“Very re­cently, some of the fluc­tu­a­tions in the mar­ket could be at­trib­uted to buy­ers be­ing un­able to ac­cess fi­nance in a timely man­ner, though the fun­da­men­tals of sup­ply and de­mand are con­ducive for a strong mar­ket to con­tinue,” he said.

”We sus­pect that these rel­a­tively good prices should stay true to the medium-term price curve and that, hope­fully, the re­cent fluc­tu­a­tions have been noth­ing more than a blip.

“Sus­tained prices like these should con­tinue to in­ject con­fi­dence into the in­dus­try to re­tain sheep, and ad­dress the un­for­tu­nate trend of a de­clin­ing WA sheep flock.

“It is great to see wool grow­ers fi­nally re­ceiv­ing good prices for their ef­forts, and in­creas­ing in­ter­est in this out­stand­ing prod­uct on a global scale.”

Pic­ture: Danella Be­vis

Ko­jonup farmer Steve McGuire is de­lighted at the strength of the wool in­dus­try.

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