Wool levy reveal set for AGM
A little over one-third of Australian Wool Innovation’s more than 23,000 registered shareholders took part in the recent WoolPoll, with voting closing last Friday.
AWI will reveal the results of the poll at its annual general meeting, set for November 23 in Sydney.
Shareholders were this year asked to consider five wool levy rate options, ranging from zero to 3 per cent, with AWI recommending it remain at 2 per cent.
WoolProducers Australia and Australian Wool Growers Association were vocal in their support for a 1.5 per cent levy, with both bodies claiming a cut to the levy would not equal a cut in marketing and research investment.
Heightening the debate was commentary by AWI chief executive Stuart McCullough, who told ABC Radio last week the campaign for a 1.5 per cent levy had “done damage to brand wool”.
He said this had been reflected in the recent decline in wool prices.
However, analysts attributed the drop in price to demand, with exporters to China reporting limited inquiries for new business.
Last week, the Australian wool market continued its slide into negative territory, with the Eastern Market Indicator closing the week at 1854 cents.
This was a 20¢ drop from the previous sale and a 262¢ drop from the record achieved in mid-August.
A total of 35,124 bales were on offer nationally, compared with 33,371 bales in the previous sale, with 16.3 per cent of the offering passed in.
Australian Wool Exchange attributed this week’s loss to a lack of buyer confidence and increasing quantities of lower-yielding, lowerstrength wool.
Australian Wool Industries Secretariat Inc’s Peter Morgan said the market had got away to a better start than in the two previous sales, but the EMI had eased a further 14¢ at the close of selling on Thursday.
“Changes in the market were more evenly distributed over the Merino micron ranges . . . with falls of around one per cent in most of the average AWEX MPGs,” he said.
“Crossbreds were also much more settled this week. However, oddments came under heavy pressure again. The average Merino Cardings Price Guide fell on both days to finish 71¢ lower.”
Mr Morgan said buyers for China had been dominant in the market, with support also shown from buyers for Europe and India.
However, he said the expected offerings for the coming three sales were falling at an increasing rate.
“They are expected to range from 35,878 bales to 38,280 bales and to be 22 per cent less than in the same period last year,” he said.