Shear delight for mills


Chinese woollen mill owners experienced sheep shearing for the first time last week when local broker West Coast Wools organised a WA wool industry familiarisation trip for a small delegation.

Combing mill owners Mr Chen, of Zhangjiagang Deyu Wool and Top Company Ltd, and Mr Wong, of Jaihui International, accompanied fabric mill owner Mr Huang on a tour of West Coast Wool’s Bibra Lake headquarters, the Australian Wool Testing Authority’s (AWTA) WA laboratory and David Fleay’s Oakover stud, at York, where shearing was in progress.

West Coast Wools director Mal Edinger said it was the first time the mill owners had been to WA and seen shearing and they were able to discuss their concerns about low wool supplies directly with WA wool producers.

“They now have a better understanding of the causes of low wool volumes coming out of WA, which is very positive, ” he said.

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Mr Edinger said the group also learned more about Australian wool testing methods at AWTA, especially Laserscan technology and staple length and strength measurements.

He said the delegation represented significant wool buying power in China. The two Chinese combing mill owners bought about 100,000 bales of greasy Australian wool annually between them, mostly in the 16.5 to 21 micron categories, and the fabric mill owner produced about 10 million metres of fabric per year, of which a significant proportion was wool.

West Coast Wools supplies wool to the two combing mills, which then supply tops to the fabric mill owned by Mr Huang.

Mr Edinger said the Chinese group members were pleased with the quality of WA wools and the mills bought five containers of wool from West Coast Wools during last week’s visit.

“The visit was part of our strategy to forge closer links with our wool customers and we also hosted Chinese wool agent Michael Xu with the delegation, ” he said.

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