Price rise nice surprise

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Bob GarnantThe West Australian
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Selling in a rising wool market last week, the Rintoul family, of Auburn Valley Merino stud, Williams, could not believe their luck.

The Western Market Indicator lifted by 42c/kg in last week's sale, closing at 1247c/kg clean.

"It is rare when our spring-shorn clip is sold when wool prices are in a rally. Normally prices are falling," Auburn Valley co-principal Peter Rintoul said.

"We were very pleased to hear all of our lots sold and we swept the floor at 877c/kg greasy, including locks and pieces."

Mr Rintoul and his wife Ann also topped the Elders catalogue with a price of 1011c/kg greasy for a nine- bale line of 17.1-micron stud ewe hoggets fleece.

The line carried a yield of 73.1 per cent and a staple length of 89mm with a good 27 mid-break.

"The clip looked really good when being shorn and showed excellent crimping," Mr Rintoul said.

"As the wool supply has diminished over the years, price fluctuations have not been so extreme, usually only a variation of 100c/kg.

"We are optimistic about the industry over the long term."

Elders wool agent and auctioneer Tony Alosi said the Rintouls' wool clip had the right combination of quality and he was pleased to sell it in a competitive and rising market.

Mr Alosi said his 47 years in the industry had been enjoyable.

"Technology and testing has become more precise," he said.

"We have eliminated all the guesswork of the past."

Mr Alosi said his concerns related to a shrinking market place.

"There are fewer marketing options, which reduces the competition on the buying room floor," he said.

"In the short term, I see wool prices continue to rise as the freshly-shorn wool supply diminishes towards the New Year."

In one of the biggest sales of the year, Elders offered 2700 bales last week, compared with a total Western Wool Market offering of 8919 bales.

"The auction system is still the best way to sell wool because it is transparent, but no doubt there will be a change in the future," Mr Alosi said.

The 62-year-old said there were opportunities for young people in the industry and he encouraged more people to consider a career in the wool sector.

The Elders International Wool Report stated that last week's increased prices were the result of renewed demand from China and other markets.

"Finally, the wool market improved after a five-week downturn," an Elders spokesman said.

"Overall, the Eastern Market Indicator rose by 36c/kg clean in local terms and 12c/kg in US dollar terms, as buyers began to tentatively cover requirements for the new processing season.

"While there have been one or two large orders coming through as the more acute spinners and weavers lock in raw material requirements, most enquiries are still for small volumes for prompt or quick delivery."

The Elders report stated the rising market was great for those who happened to sell wool into a rally, but not so healthy for the longer- term price outlook.

Meanwhile, an AWEX report stated the wool market had snapped a five-week losing stretch on the back of widespread support.

"The AWEX-EMI jumped 36c/kg, pushing the benchmark indicator back above 1200c/kg clean," an AWEX spokesman said.

"Fremantle had given a positive signal the previous week when some of the finer microns firmed slightly."

The Landmark Wool Weekly report stated the two-day sale brought solid demand for Merino fleece wool and skirtings, notably for longer and lower specification wools.

"The market gathered pace on Thursday, with increases of up to 46c/kg for Merino fleece wool," the report said.

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