Wool market back in black

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Bob GarnantThe West Australian

Dual-purpose Dohne sheep wool filled the bales for the Hagboom family, of South Dowerin, and the market was kind last week at the Western Wool Centre.

Enjoying the school holidays, Gavin and Amanda Hagboom, their sons Ashton, Fraser and Riley and Gavin’s father Colin, all witnessed a partial sale (57 bales) of their R-2H/Ridley clip sell through Landmark to a top of 1164c/kg greasy for a line of 18.5 micron wool with a yield of 60 per cent.

Though facing a tougher season this year, Gavin said the goal was to run more sheep on the 65:35 crop/sheep enterprise.

“The rain just didn’t fall at the right times this year when the timing of weather is so critical with pasture and crop growth,” he said.

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The Hagboom family run a 2500 Chirniminup blood Dohne commercial flock which works in with their Serradella seed production.

“Sheep are a better risk management, particularly when we are faced with a below-average cropping season,” Gavin said.

AWEX said strong buyer competition helped push the Australian wool market back into positive territory last week.

Increases were seen in all three selling centres with the Western Market Indicator lifting by 38c/kg to close at 1608c/kg clean. The Eastern Market Indicator rose by 28c/kg to close at 1550c/kg clean.

The Landmark Wool Weekly report stated renewed buyer activity saw the Australian wool market record a strong rise last week, reversing the recent drift lower.

“Prices for Merino wool across the micron range enjoyed significant gains, but prices for broader crossbred wool fell back,” the report said.

“After falling the previous week, the Australian dollar steadied at US78c.

“Fremantle recorded the strongest price gains of the three selling centres when it opened on Wednesday. Prices for fine Merino wool rose by 25c to 35c/kg while the medium Merino lots gained 20c to 30c.”

Despite the fall and now rebound in wool prices, National Council of Wool Selling Brokers of Australia executive director Chris Wilcox said the volume of wool exported was 11 per cent higher in the July to August period compared with the same period in 2016, while the value of exports jumped 21 per cent.

“The largest increases in the volume of exports were seen in the Czech Republic (+20 per cent), Malaysia (+72 per cent), Bulgaria (+463 per cent), Thailand (+19 per cent) and China (+10 per cent),” he said.

“The increase in the first two months has pushed the exports on a 12-month rolling basis higher, continuing the trend seen since August 2016.”

Mr Wilcox said the volume of exports had lifted after hitting a low point, but would be held back by the availability of wool this season as it will need to be fed almost entirely by new production.

“In the 12 months to August 2017, the Australian dollar value of wool exports from Australia totalled $3.24 billion, the highest 12-month total since June 2003,” he said.

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