Coronavirus crisis: Sydney wool sale held as open-cry auction to trial online technology

Zach RelphCountryman
Australian Wool Exchange are trialling “online open-cry” auctions.
Camera IconAustralian Wool Exchange are trialling “online open-cry” auctions. Credit: YouTube/AWEX

Today’s wool sale in Sydney has been conducted as an “online open-cry auction”, with almost 300 bales selling in the online teleconference.

The auction was held online via Zoom as part of the trial to determine if sales could be held online if the COVID-19 pandemic cancelled face-to-face auctions.

It offered 335 bales, with 288 bales selling under the virtual hammer.

Australian Wool Exchange chief executive Mark Grave hailed the online auction and said it examined if the technology was viable under live sale conditions.

“Today’s OOC auction demonstrates that the wool industry has been actively working towards contingency options, including online platforms, for wool sales since the escalation of COVID-19 restrictions,” he said.

“Significantly this work is ongoing in each of the three selling centres.

“To ensure continuity of business through low cost innovation, using the video-conferencing tool Zoom, is one example of how industry is managing the new COVID-19 environment.”

Australian Wool Network state manager Mark Hedley said it was pleasing the auction was supported by buyers.

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