Wool levy reveal set for AGM

Countryman - - WOOL - Ann Rawl­ings

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.

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