Market outdoes shares

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Bob GarnantCountryman

Although last week's Australian wool market lost a little ground, closing 0.5 per cent lower, it still outperformed global share markets.

The Eastern Market Indicator closed at 1219 cents/kg clean, which is still 18.1 per cent higher than in the same week last year, according to Australian Wool Industries Secretariat's Peter Morgan.

Dr Morgan said the fall in global economic confidence over concerns about Italy's sovereign debt cut share prices by 2-3 per cent.

"Interest rate on Italian bonds moved towards a critical interest rate of 7 per cent, which both Ireland and Portugal had before those countries had bail-outs," he said.

The Fremantle market fell by 0.7 per cent when 7089 bales sold of the 8096 bales offered on a one-day Wednesday sale.

"The greater fall in the Western Indicator was due to there being no sale on Thursday of the previous week, when the Eastern Market fell by 4c/kg," Dr Morgan said.

Gairdner woolgrower Ian Peacock attended the Western Wool Centre, Bibra Lake, last Wednesday to watch what his family's partial wool consignment would bring at the auction.

His best price came from an allotment of 13 bales of 19-micron wool shorn from orange tag ewe hoggets.

He said the 1007cs/kg greasy was far higher than last year.

"We had similar prices in the late 1980s but our input costs were substantially lower," Mr Peacock said.

The Peacocks have been on Coromandel bloodlines for 40 years and run 1000 breeders, shearing 6000 sheep annually.

"We class for extra length and clean white wool," Mr Peacock said.

The mixed farm also produces canola, wheat and barley and they run 80 head of Angus breeders.

Mr Peacock, wife Pam and their two sons, Brad and Glenn, all agree that it is important to spread the risks of farming.

"The boys didn't think sheep would be an integral part of our farm about 12 years ago," Mr Peacock said. "After showing them the accounting records, they wised up."

Mr Peacock said his sheep income was the family's best hedge against rising costs, unfavourable weather and global economic uncertainties.

Wool sales will be held in Sydney, Melbourne and Fremantle this week, when 45,275 bales are rostered for sale.

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