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Weekly Livestock Update with Warren Johnston

This week saw some mixed results in the Livestock world with prices generally finding a firm market with the only slight dip in the lamb yard with quality and weight being the main factor in this change .

Mutton continues its wonderful run with prices maintaining record levels along with rams that are still sitting at record ever prices and demand .

Processing cattle are in demand as we are the thick of winter , with some excellent results / prices being realised .

Yesterday saw the start of the monthly store cattle markets at Powranna open in the wake of a very successful weaner selling season , with strong demand for all descriptions with young British bred steers and heifers selling to excellent rates . Angus steers 232kg / $940 or 406 cents , Angus heifers 225kg /$870 or 380 cents per kg live weight. Hereford steers  311kg /$1100 or 355 cents while their younger brothers 276kg/$1090 or 401 cents per kg liveweight . One pen of Angus steers 277kg/$1110 per head or 401 cents per kg live going to the local feedlot for backgrounding . Grown steers 600kg realised $1800 while PTIC Red Angus cows topped at $1700 per head .

Dairy Livestock have some very good cows on the market at present , along with export orders for Friesian Heifers within three categories to fill quickly .

Yesterday saw a good offering of scanned in lamb ewes offered account Creese North East 3 yr Ewes topping at $216 while the 4yr sisters made $190 for a total clearance .

Oatlands next Sheep and Lamb sale Thursday 13th July.  PL and SA Elliot clearing sale , Bishopsbourne, next Thursday 29th June 11am .

For further details on the above please refer to or Today’s Tas Country.

Weekly Wool Report

Wool Bulletin - 16062017Wool Bulletin - 16062017

Wool Manager’s Report

There were a shade over 30,000 bales offered nationally this week, with all three selling centers in operation. The market stabilized last Thursday, and showed positive signs in early trade this week. All merino categories firmed between 20 and 30 cents, the most encouraging thing was how Fremantle closed on Wednesday afternoon. With WA being on the same time zone as Shanghai, they can field enquiry from Chinese buyers while their market is still in operation so a strong close there is generally a good indicator as to how the market will open in the Eastern states the following day.

In last week’s column we mentioned the disparity between Sydney and Melbourne markets, mainly dictated by the quality of the selection. Wednesday this week there was a comparatively large offering of Tasmanian wool on in Melbourne, and this had a positive impact on Melbourne’s indicators, firming above Sydney’s levels. A testament to the quality of the Tasmanian clip compared to other Southern states. The 18.5 micron indicator closed north of 2000 cents clean. Another positive is that Xbreds between 26.0 and 33.0 micron firmed 5 to 10 cents as well. Unfortunately the carpet types, 34.0 and broader are still struggling with an over supply worldwide, our mail on this sector is that this could be a long term cycle and greasy stocks from NZ, South America and the UK will need to clear before we see any significant upside here.

It’s hard to believe but we are only weeks away from the end of the selling season, if we can enter the recess on a positive note that would be a great outcome. Sydney and Melbourne are the only centers selling next week with a shade over 23,000 bales on offer.

Please send any questions or topics for discussion to

Weekly Wool Report

Wool Bulletin 09062017

Wool Manager’s Report

The market this week saw only 24,000 bales offered over two days in Melbourne and Sydney, with Fremantle moving to their fortnightly roster due to lower volumes in Western Australia.

After a couple of tough weeks for the finer end of the market we were watching in anticipation as to whether the trend was to continue this week.

The market in Sydney had held up a little better than Melbourne recently due to a couple of factors; the quality of the fine and superfine wool on offer, as well as the fact that there remains a couple of buyers that choose to procure wool from the northern region exclusively.

On Wednesday this week we saw this disparity correct slightly with the 19 micron and finer types in Sydney losing 20-30 cents clean on last weeks close, whereas Melbourne was virtually unchanged. Overall the Eastern Market Indicator lost 5 cents in AUD cents for the day, while in USD it gained a solid 19 cents.

Within both markets the lots displaying poorer additional measurement results, low staple strength, high mid breaks, high VM etc weighed the market down as buyers became more selective, seeking out the better testing lots.

This bodes well for the Tasmanian wool clip as it begins to come into store. With the effects of a better growing season and our traditional “free near free” VM types, our wool should come under buying pressure.

On another note, it is worth mentioning that we are again seeing buyers ship wool directly out of Tasmania for export to Asia. This is a good development and as the trade become more comfortable with the shipping services on offer they can reduce shipping costs not having to include transhipment to Melbourne. This of course only works when buyers can put together full container lots from Tasmania.

Volumes continue to decline over coming weeks with 25-30,000 bales rostered. If you have any questions or have a topic you would like covered please email them to

Weekly Wool Report

Wool Bulletin - Roberts 02062017

Weekly Wool Report

Wool Bulletin - Roberts 26 May 2017

Wool Manager’s Report

There were approximately 37,000 bales rostered for sale this week, offered in all three selling centers. The market continued to ease slightly in the merino categories but held relatively firm in cardings and xbreds. It appears as though China have “gone quiet” with it difficult to even get counter offers back some of the major Chinese agents. This is not unusual for the time of year, with limited volume coming to market over the winter period, some major processors take the risk of sitting out and hoping the market comes back. I call this a risk, because the longer they sit out for the more pressure they put on themselves to secure quantity in the future, and too much pressure on the buy side will force prices straight back to where they’ve come from.

From a growing point of view it’s really important to remember that fine merino prices are still excellent on historical standards. With 17.5 trading around 2200 cents clean it works out to be roughly $70 per head in wool value (subject to yield, kgs etc) and with mutton, surplus sheep sales at near record levels it is a far more encouraging time to be a wool grower.

We often discuss the varying premiums and discounts depending on the direction of the market. With demand being a touch soft right at the moment the discounts for “off types” or anything that’s not prepared appropriately will start to increase. It’s a good opportunity to reinforce the message to keep preparation standards high to capture the best prices available.

The four week forecast currently has the week beginning the 7th of June as only having 25,000 bales up for sale – it’s rare to see quantity so low in a week, and this could change as we get closer to the time. It does give us a taste of how supply will drop off shortly, and China can’t sit out forever.

As I’m sure everyone is aware the Campbell Town Show has come round again. It is on the 2nd and 3rd of June. It is a great opportunity to see some examples of the states wool and sheep production. I look forward to seeing some readers there next week. Please forward any questions to

Weekly Wool Report

19 May 2017

Wool Manager’s Report

Last week I returned from the 86th IWTO Conference, this year held in Yorkshire in northern England. The conference this year was titled “Wool in the digital age” and while there were many different themes to this, I would like to focus on one part that I found particularly interesting.

Much of the wool we produce ends up in the apparel industry; it is the apparel industry that I would like to talk about.

Maybe you have heard of the term fast fashion and the subsequent phrase; slowing down fast fashion? If you are anything like me, you have probably heard these terms but don’t necessarily have an understanding of what they mean outside the obvious. So firstly some facts on the world apparel market and the role natural fibres can play in reversing some of the alarming statistics.

  1. The apparel industry is now the 2nd largest polluting industry in the world behind the oil industry.
  2. In the UK alone, 2 million tonnes of garments are purchased each year, while 1 million tonnes of old garments are discarded with 50% ending up in landfill.
  3. In the US on average each consumer purchases 75 new garments per year compared with 25 in 1960.

So what relevance is there here for the wool industry? Most of these products I refer to are oil based, polyester garments that are produced and subsequently sold cheaply as a way of keeping up with this fast fashion movement.

As consumers become more aware of the sustainability of the products they purchase in an attempt to slow down fast fashion they will be more focused on selecting better value for money garments. These may cost more per item, but treated correctly can last for years, therefore costing far less per use.

None of this even takes into account the life cycle of man-made versus natural fibres post wearing.

There is a number of interesting videos available, one in particular is put together by Alex James title Slowing Down Fast Fashion and can be found online.

To the wool market, sales opened on Wednesday this week with all three centres selling. Early quotes suggest the market has levelled after last Thursday’s correction with only minor movements either way across the whole spectrum. At this stage next week we see 39,000 bales rostered before contracting to low 30,000’s for the following weeks.

Feel free to email through any questions or comments


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