Canadian giant top of the table

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Bob GarnantCountryman

Global agri-business wool and grain trader Viterra has repeated its top ranking for most wool purchased during the 2010–11 Australian season.

After entering the Australian agriculture scene in 2009, when it combined operations with ABB Grain, Viterra now handles about 12.5 per cent of the wool exported out of the country.

The Canadian-based company bought 209,391 bales or 11.7 per cent of last season’s auction room clearances.

Viterra was also ranked as the largest buyer of Merino fleece wool, taking 169,191 bales of the proceeds.

This big appetite for fleece wool ties in with its China trading partners including one of the Asia’s largest processors, Sunshine, which takes 80 per cent of Viterra’s wool trade.

Not far from the top buyer the public-listed Techwool Trading, which has a head office in Victoria, bought up 179,439 bales, but its Merino fleece wool was only half of Viterra’s.

While Melbourne-based listed company Fox and Lillie came in third spot with 142,143 bales, it was Queensland Cotton that snuck into the top four, accounting for 120,699 bales.

Part of one of the world’s largest cotton companies, the Olam Group, Queensland Cotton was the second-largest purchaser of Merino fleece at 98,673 bales.

WA’s PJ Morris Wool came in as the eighth-largest buyer of Australian wool, purchasing a total of 77,588 bales.

Demand for wool has remained firm over last selling season, with the two largest export markets, China and India, increasing their take by 4 and 2 per cent, respectively, according to Landmark’s Wool Weekly report.

Landmark said the sharp rise in export volumes was because of stronger demand from other countries, notably Italy, the Czech Republic, Taiwan and Japan, up by 42, 27 and 45 per cent, respectively.

China remains the largest destination with a 73 per cent share.

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