Bruce Lines, Qld Wool Manager for Rodwells, a Ruralco company based in Roma, gave me a comprehensive round up on the wool industry at the present time.
He said the wool market rose in extraordinary fashion in week seven of the wool selling calendar. After the previous week’s significant rise, most thought the market would be a little better. That was a long way from what happened.
Bruce said competition was intense as buyers set about securing their share of the more limited offering of 39,000 bales. Increases in all Merino and cross bred types lifted the EMI by 64 cents to close at 1614c, its highest recorded level since AWEX started market reporting in the early nineties.
In the Merino fleece section, all types were 40 to 50 cents dearer early on the opening day, with the medium and broad categories closing up to 75c higher. Discounts all but evaporated as demand outstripped supply. Fleece types were dearer adding a further 10-30c with the increases greater at the finer end. By the close, all Merino indicators were 70 – 120 cents higher. 21, 22 and 23 micron indicators closed at record levels. Skirtings were dearer, especially the light fault types. Cardings continued to drift lower.
As Bruce said, in situations like this everyone asks, How high can the market go? Of course, no-one knows the answer to that question, but the market has been very good since Christmas 2016. There is almost no wool on hold to increase the supply in reaction to the better market.
In US dollar terms, the market is not as expensive as it was in 2011. Demand for wool continues to improve through growth in the active wear market and because of its sustainability and environmental credentials. Bruce said week eight sales would offer 37,000 bales nationally with no sale in WA.
Bruce reported a strong showing of wool at this year’s Ekka with fleeces from all around Queensland and a few from Walcha (NSW). The wool judge was Robert Ellis from Ruralco, Melbourne. Grand Champion Fleece of the Show went to Will and Narda Roberts, Victoria Downs Merino Stud, Morven, with a medium wool stud ram fleece weighing 12kg with a score of 94 points.
Cattle numbers have eased over the past two weeks with Roma agents booking 4062 head for this week’s sale. With just over 5000 penned at last Tuesday’s sale, the market firmed on the previous week and the quality light weight lines improved.
Ryan Dellit, Graham Henderson & Co, Dalby reported an improvement in the market of 3456 head at last week’s sale. Heavy steers and bullocks improved by 6-10c. Cows were 5-10c dearer for most classes. Heavy weight feeder steers sold to dearer rates. Light weight feeder steers remained firm with heifers gaining 5-10c on last week.