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Mt Barker’s superfine wool shines in opening wool sale

The opening wool market after the three-week mid-year recess resulted in losses across the micron ranges, but the first day’s falling prices gave way to improved buyer sentiment on day two.

Overall the national offering of 55,363 bales resulted in 43,110 sold with the Fremantle sale offering 9078 bales and selling 6007 with a pass-in rate of 33.8 per cent.

The Eastern Market Indicator closed down 45c/kg to 1342c as the Western Market Indicator fell 55c/kg to 1449c/kg.

Endeavour Wool Exports buyer Steve Noa said it was a very disappointing opening, but was expected from little commitment or interest from China during the winter break.

“There is too much uncertainty around the world along with the ongoing China COVID risk of shut downs,” he said.

“There’s no appetite to take on any risk at the moment so we’re not expecting a lot of good news in the short term.”

The top selling lot in Fremantle came from a three-bale consignment of 15 micron non-mulesed superfine wool, offered from Hambach Grazing in Mt Barker that sold for 2965c/kg greasy through Westcoast Wool and Livestock.

The superfine wool measured a 74.1 per cent yield, with a length of 87mm and had 34 Newtons per kilotex for strength.

It was produced by Mt Barker farming couple Jaydan Smith and Stefanie Alo who are relatively new entrants in wool production.

Mr Smith has many years experience in the industry as a shearer and Ms Alo completed her woolclassing certificate IV from South Regional TAFE in Narrogin last year.

It was the couple’s fourth woolclip after buying their 40 hectare Hambach Grazing property in 2019 and stocking it with superfine ewes sourced from Andrew Bradshaw at Tambellup.

Ms Alo said they were a little nervous about the sale.

“It was hard to predict what the market would do,” she said.

“We believed in the quality of our product and that there is a demand in sustainable grown non-mulsed wool.

“We’re very pleased about the good result and are motivated to grow more of this beautiful wool.”

Ms Alo said they were putting a lot of effort into animal welfare and sustainable farming practices at Hambach Grazing.

They signed up to the SustainaWOOL Integrity System Scheme in June in an effort to have access to more markets like those in Europe.

SustainaWOOL was created in 2015 through collaboration of some of the world’s leading wool processors and specialists woolgrowers and buyers.

It was established as a mechanism to educate the wool-consuming world to understand that raw material suppliers of wool take the utmost care of their animals, their clip preparation responsibilities and the environment.

Ms Alo said their 15 micron wool was shorn from a line of 11 month old weaners.

The buyer of this consignment was Fremantle-based PJ Morris Wools.

PJ Morris Wools managing director Peter Morris said the superfine wool would be processed at the 150-year-old Reda textile mill in the province of Biello in Italy, that has a heritage of producing luxury textiles including fine men’s suiting material and next-to-skin products.

“Reda is one of the best mills in Italy, we purchased the 15-micron well grown consignment on behalf of Reda buyer Andrew Blanch,” he said.

Westcoast Wool and Livestock auctioneer Danny Burkett said the Hambach Grazing superfine clip brought strong bidding competition.

“It displayed all the characters of superfine wool and sold very well,” he said.

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