Open-cry wool auctions cease in Melbourne

Covid-19 restrictions force open-cry wool auctions to temporarily cease

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Covid-19 restrictions force open-cry wool auctions to temporarily cease in Melbourne but AWEX CEO says sales will continue.

Covid-19 restrictions force open-cry wool auctions to temporarily cease in Melbourne but AWEX CEO says sales will continue.

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Covid-19 restrictions force open-cry wool auctions to temporarily cease in Melbourne.

Aa

Open-cry wool auctions have been temporarily ceased at Melbourne due to Covid-19 stage four restrictions.

Making up 45 per cent of Australia's wool production, it is a major disruption to the industry, but AWEX CEO Mark Graves said options are being discussed and is positive sales will continue.

"AWEX are seeking clarification on what is and isn't permitted," Mr Graves said.

"We are still in discussions and have been in contact with the Department of Agriculture. We don't have a definitive answer as yet, but we are working on it.

"We need to make sure we are doing what we need to do to comply and make sure recognition is given for the levels and steps that have been taken already.

"We want to be able to maintain trading for all the right reasons. Export trade is important to Australia let alone Victoria, and it is important to the growers."

Mr Graves said trading will continue, it is just a question of how.

"It may be similar to where we are at the moment, relocated to a more open space to make sure there are no risk issues," he said.

"It is about public health and we want to make sure there is minimal risk to everybody.

"We support the government in what they are trying to do in suppressing it, but we have to do our part too in meeting grower's needs."

He said options would be relocating to a more suitable venue, or producers could look at selling online.

"Online hasn't been tried en masse so there is a bit of a steep earning curve there for everybody and it is also a little slower," Mr Graves said.

"Or wool could be sold, as it was this week, in Sydney after some lots were shown in Melbourne.

"There are brokers who offer in Sydney and sell in Melbourne and visa versa. It is an option, but it is probably the least preferred.

"You have to assume, and it is not always the case, that there is the same number of buyers in Melbourne as there is in Sydney."

Melbourne is the county's biggest selling centre, handling 45 per cent of Australia's wool production.

Mr Graves said the number of people who service and bid in Melbourne will always be higher than the north or the west.

"The Australian wool industry is a significant part of the global wool industry, it is the major apparel wool production centre of the world and Melbourne is 45pc of that," he said.

"It is a significant part of the industry, not just domestically, but as an export it plays an important role."

More to come

The story Open-cry wool auctions cease in Melbourne first appeared on Farm Online.

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