Woolgrowers resist low market prices as 58 per cent of fleece bales in WA are passed in

Headshot of Aidan Smith
Aidan SmithCountryman
Wool bales in the Bibra Lake wool stores.
Camera IconWool bales in the Bibra Lake wool stores. Credit: Aidan Smith/Countryman

Western Australian woolgrowers are resisting the low prices on offer at the wool stores, with 58.1 per cent of fleece bales passed in last week.

The total of overall bales passed in was 47.8 per cent (sale week 47).

According to the Western Wool Centre prices have also taken a dive, with the 18-21 micron price guide down six per cent, by 75c/kg-85c/kg for the week.

Endeavour Wool WA buyer Steve Noa said the market at the moment was a reflection of the lack of confidence in the industry.

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“It’s a disappointing market at the moment,” Mr Noa said.

“There’s a lot of grower resistance and not a lot of orders, which shows the lack of confidence in the market.”

He said the year started out fine with promises of a Chinese stimulus package for importers but that hasn’t eventuated.

Mr Noa said low prices on offer, interest rates, slow trade and the quality of autumn wool in the market, making it harder to sell, were all factors the industry was dealing with.

“Growers have had an amazing couple of years of general farm returns and so they won’t sell if they don’t have too,” Mr Noa said.

“Some are selling so they can buy feed and fertilisers, but come July 1, I can see a stack of wool hitting the market for taxation reasons.

“This will have its own problems.”

WWC figures highlight the WA Merino fleece average for last week was 19.2 micron, with a vegetable matter content of 1.5, at 913c/kg.

The total average bale offered in WA was 19.3 micron, with a 2.2 VM content, selling for 807c/kg greasy.

This was down from the average the previous week at 853c/kg for a similar bale.

Last week 79 bales, or nine per cent of bales, were also withdrawn from the sale.

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