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Category: Tasmania (page 1 of 2)

Weekly Wool Report


The Annual Tasmanian Flock Ewe Competition


It’s that time of year again – that is it’s the time of year to apply to be part of our annual Tasmanian Flock Ewe competition!

Please contact Damian or Andrew on details below for further information. The competition is open to all Tasmanian merino & dual purpose sheep producers.

With most sincere thanks to our major sponsor – Rabobank for their support of this competition.





Wool Manager’s Report

There were approximately 45,000 bales rostered for sale this week. Tuesday saw a New Zealand only offering in Melbourne, this selection followed the same trend as the Australian market, with better types well supported. The Australian market was very solid, consolidating nicely after last weeks gains. The most encouraging thing though is the market in USD terms. The Eastern Market Indicator (EMI) has broken through the 1000 cent resistance level that we’ve seen for the past several months. You may recall from a couple of weeks ago that Chinatex had been sitting out of the market, they’ve been much more active in the last fortnight which has helped the market take the next step up. Both Fox and Lillie and Techwool are running with them which points to a bit of sustainability which is good.

We’re seeing good enquiry for knitwear types at the moment, pieces and bellies, xbred lambs and the like. It highlights the importance of maximizing profitability from your top lines of fleece right down to your stain types. With skirtings and oddments making up 20% of your production they can make a real difference. For the prime lamb producers there are specialty orders out there for light vm xbred lambs. Please contact us if you would like quotes on what these types are bringing at auction, or subject to quantity we can explore direct export options to attract further premiums.

All in all the “feel” is still very positive, we have our second largest sale of the season next week, this may provide some resistance. If we can get through that we’re getting tantalizingly close to the 3 week Christmas recess that will put more supply pressure on buyers.

For the first time in a long while growers are in the position of strength, demand is outweighing supply we’re not price takers for the time being which makes for a refreshing change.

Please send any enquires through to

Wool Manager’s Report

It was an extremely small offering for this time of year this week. 35,000 bales rostered nationally with 2,500 ex New Zealand selling in Melbourne on Tuesday. The positive sentiment from last week continued into this week with most merino price guides firming 5 to 15 cents clean in early trade. Crossbreds failed to fire with 28s easing 15 cents on day 1. Cardings followed the merinos with a 10 cent lift. On Wednesday in Melbourne there was a passed in percentage of only 1.5% which is about as low as you will ever see, illustrating that growers are generally comfortable to trade at these levels.

We talk about it a lot but the pattern continues of best performing types being keenly sought, maintaining healthy premiums over excessive length or part tender. I’ve reconfirmed with major buyers that this trend is here to stay. The gap will in fact increase as we move towards the new calendar year. Interestingly 19.5 and broader merinos have been a bit unloved over the last 3 weeks or so. China again started enquiring into these types last week, hence they look to have found a bottom for the short term.

Talking to another large Chinese trader and he said the “hand to mouth” buying strategy set by the Chinese looks to set to continue also. With wool being sold and bought now for late October/early November shipment. This is making the current market a little difficult to read; is it simply a lack of supply for the time of year? Or genuine new business driving it in the short term. We are expecting a small increase on auction volumes next week – if we can maintain a bit of momentum it will be a positive sign. Also if Chinatex re renters the market in a big way it could just be enough to drive the market higher.

To summarise, the general feel from industry participants is positive. A dramatic surge upwards is difficult to foresee from current levels, but there is also limited downside. If nothing else it should make the decision to sell a bit easier. If for whatever reason growers are inclined to holdback a portion of their that’s where some data analysis should be done as there’s real money to be gained or lost trading the discounts.

Two day sales in Sydney, Melbourne and Fremantle next week, approx. 37,000 bales predicted. We’re tracking about 5% ahead of last year for volume, this will level out very quickly if sales continue to be on the light side.

If you have any questions please send to

Weekly Wool Market Update


Weekly Wool Report

Wool Manager’s Report

The market opened on Tuesday in Melbourne this week with their sale finishing on Wednesday. Both Sydney and Fremantle stuck to the traditional Wednesday, Thursday sequence. Generally I don’t like centers selling on their own, the reduced volume limits the amount of indent activity in the market. This didn’t appear to be the case this week with the indicator in both USD and AUD terms basically unchanged over the course of the week, stabilizing after two weeks of easing.

When you delve a little bit deeper there is a bit more of a story to tell. Traditionally we see all merino types moving the same way with the market – if the market is firming all merino types firm with it, visa versa if it’s coming down. At the moment the micron curve is taking on a very unusual shape indeed. It’s been no secret that the superfine end of the curve is much flatter now than 5 plus years ago, with premiums per point of micron being as small as they’ve ever been. In the last two weeks however we’re actually seeing 19.0 and finer gaining ground while 19.5 and broader are easing. These two movements are cancelling each other out and making the indicator unchanged. For some perspective, 19.0 micron is trading at a 50 cent premium over 19.5 or 10 cents per point of micron. Where 16.5s are trading at a minuscule 6 cent premium over 17.5 or 0.6 cents per point of micron.

This is obviously affected by what orders are in the market at the time, and it’s no surprise it coincides with a notable omission from the top 5 buyers list. Chinatex are usually heavy influencers of the market often buying 15% plus of the merino fleece selection with a particular focus on 19 and broader. For whatever reason they’re not very active at the moment, but they’re just as likely to reenter in 2 or 3 weeks time.

It also highlights another interesting point, there has been increased interest from growers in the forward market thanks to the reasonable prices we’re seeing at the moment. 21.0 micron is the most liquid in this space, but as an 18.5 micron grower you might wonder how a 21.0 could be used as a hedge. Generally because as I said earlier both MPGs would move in the same direction depending on the market. Using this week as an example however and it illustrates the potential of a rare win win – when you could make money on your 21.0 forward contract because the market has gone down, and make money on your physical clip because 18.5 has gone up! Food for thought.

40,000 bales are rostered for sale next week in all three centers on Wednesday and Thursday.

Please email any questions to

Weekly Wool Report


In last week’s commentary we pointed to the impending US employment figures as a guide to point the way for future interest rate moves and therefore currency price direction in the near future. The US employment figures came in softer than expected, thus reducing the immediate need for an interest rate increase there and leading to a short term softening of the US$. As the US$ declines, so the A$ rises, and this higher local currency placed some headwinds on the wool market this week.


The lift in the A$ from 75.5US¢ to 76.8US¢ coincided with a 15¢ fall in the EMI over the week to close at 1305¢/kg clean, a fall on the week of 1.1%. Exporter demand softening as the higher dollar making our wool in foreign terms a bit more expensive, up 6¢ to 1002US¢. In contrast to the east coast, the higher magnitude falls in physical wool prices in the west this week, as indicated by the WMI closing down 1.9%, or a fall of 28¢ to close at 1379¢/kg clean. This meant that in US$ terms the price of wool in WA softened marginally by 3¢ to 1059US¢.


In the Riemann forward market trading was noted for 21-micron fleece at 1455¢ for late September 2016 and 1415ٕ¢ for late October 2016. Interest continues to expand among growers in the use of minimum price contracts for wool and with the increased participation on the Riemann platform, leading to more prices available further out into the future on screen, suggesting that the use of minimum price contracts will become more commonplace. Indeed, Riemann are now generating a forward curve for the 21-micron fleece that give an indication of forward trading levels out until June 2017. Talk to your wool broker on the use of these contracts and how they can help you to hedge your downside price risk, but allow participation in the topside if wool prices rally.


This week saw 41,832 bales offered for sale and 38,658 went to the trade at a pass in rate of 7.6%. Next week sales are scheduled at Melbourne, Sydney and Fremantle on Wednesday and Thursday with 38,231 bales expected on offer. Week 12 has 43,680 bales anticipated and 38,733 the following week.



Weekly Wool Update

The wool market resumed its normal roster this week selling in all three centres on Wednesday and Thursday. The market on Wednesday continued on from the positive close to last week with most types quoted slightly dearer. Merino fleece in the 18-21 micron range were most affected, adding 15 cents clean, while other types were 5 cents dearer.

The recent trend which has seen the higher quality types, whether it be merino fleece, skirtings or crossbreds has continued, with tangible premiums being paid for the better testing lots.

This trend is set to continue as Europe becomes more active in the market, at the same time as China pulling back slightly from the levels seen in previous years.

Therefore it is now beneficial to adjust wool classing practices to suit the current market; where you may normally class out a finer testing line looking for micron premiums, currently it is more beneficial to class on staple strength and length as a priority.

If you are able to produce a line that is 40n kt or better, as opposed to a finer line testing 35 nkt, you will be rewarded with the price received. This is especially relevant as we head into a spring with a flush of feed to come that could challenge staple strength?

The same thing could be said for classing and skirting crossbred wool; as the more traditional wool using countries such as Europe generally, Japan, Korea etc become more active in purchasing, the savings made in the shed could be counter productive. Of course this depends on your specific circumstances, but as a general observation, the well classed, skirted clips are well sought after.

Contact your local Roberts Wool Representative for more information.

Tasmanian Merino Trade Mission


Roberts is passionate about Tasmanian agriculture and promoting our Island’s highly sought after produce on the world stage.

We are proud to own Tasmanian Merino, a brand which provides authenticity for the entire supply chain, from the wool producer to the consumer.

Our Wool Manager, Alistair Calvert, is off to Europe next week to visit key retailers and supply chain participants to introduce them to our Tasmanian Merino marketing campaign. These appointments include high end suiting manufacturers who already hold Tasmanian wool in high regard; spinning companies – one of whom makes up an important part of the Ortovox supply chain & are renowned for their innovation & product development; customers focused on high end woven fabrics as well as knitwear & also those who focus on lower grade wool types (both combing & carding).

In addition to these specific visits, Alistair will also be visiting Milano Unica, a leading trade fair in Milan. This event showcases products like prestigious menswear fabrics through to exclusive women’s knitwear collections. Over 425 manufacturers, dealers, importers and retailers will exhibit at the show. Alistair will be there to support a fully vertically integrated company that uses over 50,000 bales of greasy wool per year.

We look forward to sharing some updates of his trip over the next few weeks – stay tuned!

In the meantime, please find a link to one of our Tasmanian Merino marketing videos below.


As always, if you would like some more information on this exciting new venture, or anything else wool related, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us. Head to to check out our website, or contact your local Roberts Wool Rep to find out how you can get involved.

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