Confidence up as wool price rises

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Bob GarnantCountryman
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The AWEX regional indicators moved well above the season start, finishing 2.5 per cent higher last week.

Australian Wool Industries Secretariat executive director Peter Morgan said the greatest gains were from 18.5 micron to 22 microns.

"The AWEX indicators are well above their levels of the same sale last year and at the start of the season," he said.

AWEX reported the 38,592 bale national sale was the smallest total in five weeks.

"At 1127 cents/kg, the Eastern Market Indicator is one cent short of equalling a seven-month high," AWEX said.

Selling into the western wool market, Moora wool producer David McGillivray and son Ian witnessed their family's NCM & Sons/Koojan 113-bale wool clip offered and sold at the Western Wool Centre.

Reaching a top price of 861c/kg greasy as offered in the Elders catalogue, the McGillivrays said it was approximately 80c/kg up on last year.

Elders wool manager Danny Burkett said wool demand was increasing in different markets around the world as the processing season approached and economic conditions in Europe improved.

"The Chinese Government is going quietly about its business, in stark contrast to the situation being played out in the US," he said.

"Trading agreements are starting to create more manufacturing activity, including textiles.

"Spinners are paying spot price due to low inventories of raw wool, which has given topmakers the confidence to restock."

Last week's upward price movement also brought a pleasant confidence to the McGillivray family.

"We like to visit the wool stores to see how our clip is presented in its different lines," David said.

David and his wife Mary were originally farming in the Riverina, before moving to WA in 1967 to invest in a larger farming enterprise.

Together with son Ian and his wife Michelle, the family runs a 50/50 crop/sheep program with 3600 breeding ewes.

"Since using MPM genetics, starting eight years ago, we reduced micron and find the sheep are less prone to flystrike," Ian said.

"Most importantly, the sheep have increased their meat profile by 15 per cent, based on visual scoring, while maintaining wool cut.

"Increased muscling is allowing us to market our sheep to local abattoirs."

The McGillivrays inject Glendemar bloodlines into a 300-head nucleus flock to breed flock rams, all classed by MPM classer Ken Duxson.

"We have had a good run with Valencia clover, which is very beneficial for both the cropping rotational program and as sheep feed," Ian said.

Although the McGillivrays' sheep flock began dropping lambs during the dry June period, they still recorded a 98 per cent lambing.

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