Coronavirus crisis: Online WA wool auction trial a success, as 51 lots sold

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Bob GarnantCountryman
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Westcoast Wool and Livestock auctioneer Danny Burkett during last week’s online live streaming wool auction.
Camera IconWestcoast Wool and Livestock auctioneer Danny Burkett during last week’s online live streaming wool auction. Credit: Westcoast Wool and Livestock/Westcoast Wool and Livestock

A mock-up online wool auction was trialled last week with success as the industry looks for a potential COVID-19 option to the open-cry physical method of transferring ownership of growers’ clips.

Westcoast Wool and Livestock wool auctioneer Danny Burkett conducted the 23-minute online live-streaming trial last Wednesday, selling 51 fleece wool lots.

The Bibra Lake-based wool brokerage firm was called upon to host the trial by the Australian Wool Exchange as part of the industry’s contingency plans in case traditional open-cry auctions are halted due to the COVID-19.

Similar trials have been conducted in other States and earlier trials have included remote participation in wool auctions.

AWEX western region wool technical officer Andrew Rickwood said various trials were occurring due to the threat posed by COVID-19.

“It’s possibly not a matter of if, but when, that physical auctions will be shut down,” he said.

The WA trial used the Zoom online platform and attracted wool exporter registrations from both home and work offices.

Mr Burkett said transactions were made at a slower rate, but it was very effective for the transfer of wool.

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