Buyers keen for Tassie’s finest fleece

BUYERS are expected to be out in force when thousands of bales of locally grown wool go under the hammer at the annual Tasmanian feature sale in Melbourne.

The sale will be held today Tuesday (Feb 14) and wool producers are hoping strong market conditions seen this week will continue. Samples from more than 2,500 bales of wool have been sent across Bass Strait from more than 50 Tasmanian and Flinders Island farms.

Nutrien Ag Solutions Victoria Wool Brokerage Lead Stewart Raine will be the auctioneer on the day and has an ingrained knowledge of the Tasmanian wool market, having worked there for a number of years.

“Selling wool in Melbourne gives growers full access to the export market, and opens up the competition while maintaining provenance,” Mr Raine said.

“Exporters and early-stage processors know this sale gives them a chance to secure large quantities of high-quality single-source wool.”

Rob Calvert from Wool Solutions said there would be a big catalogue of high quality Tasmanian wool on offer at the sale. “We’ve sort of held back a lot of the best end of our clients’ wool to sell now, which is good,” he said.

“The market this week is very, very strong and that’s looking likely to carry into next week and that’s a general market improvement.”

Mr Calvert said he expected to see strong interest in the Tasmanian wool from a broad range of buyers.

“Probably the best thing for the Tassie offering next week is the best testing wools are selling at a significant premiums over the poorer testing lots, which really bodes well for the Tassie selection,” he said.

Mr Raine said the Nutrien team would facilitate conversations with exporters before and after the sale to understand current trends for the market and clip preparations.

“The market is showing really positive signs as we approach this sale, and following previous year trends, we are once again excited to offer this annual catalogue,” he said.

Mr Calvert said he expected significant interest from the main exporters in Europe as well as China and India. “They’re realising the benefits of better quality and better testing wools, hence that gap,” he said.

“Also because of the floods, the mainland selection saw delays in shearing so we’re getting flooded with a fair bit of wool now but also its longer than it normally is and it’s tender. “Even though there’s traditionally a lot more longer and tender types of wool at this time of the year, it’s even more so this year.”

In contrast, Mr Calvert said good seasonal conditions across the state has seen some excellent quality wool produced. “The Tasmanian thing is great, but particularly for Melbourne, it will be the best selection of wool for many months,” he said.

Martin and Rosie Walker of Flinders Island have 47 bales for sale and will be making the trip over to Melbourne. “We know we have high-quality wool, and it’s fantastic that it brings it for the wider market to see and purchase,” Mr Walker said.

Nutrien Ag Solutions Tasmania Wool Lead George Nichols, will be at the sale with the rest of the Tasmania wool team.

“Growers could have been holding onto this wool since winter because they know the value of this sale,” he said.

“It is a brilliant opportunity for growers to follow this wool from shearing right through to the Melbourne sale floor and then watching it go at auction, there is a lot of excitement on the ground.”