After examining grain cropping last week, Country continues its series on the local agriculture industry, this week focusing on sheep and wool. And the good news stories just seem to keep coming. Dianne Dempsey reports.
The mood was high at this year’s Australian Sheep and Wool Show held in Bendigo last month.
The season has been kind with reasonable rainfalls and market prices for wool and lambs are relatively strong.
It’s not the heady days of 12 months ago, but the market is generally healthy and the situation is quite profitable for growers, according to Landmark senior wool account manager Athol Frederick.
“The only concern is that of the merino super fine wool market in relation to the European market where the economy is somewhat uncertain,” he said.
“The Italian market, which traditionally has been a strong buyer of super fine Merino wool, isn’t as buoyant as it has been in the past and that has had some impact on super fine wool prices.
“Historically there has been a spread between the price of merino super fine wool and medium wool, but the price is currently much closer.
“A plus for the industry at the moment is that wool supply and sheep numbers are low in general, so this means we are not over-producing.
“Because supply is low it wouldn’t take much extra demand to lift prices, especially in the super fine wool market.”
In terms of the new season lamb market, Landmark branch manager Ian Carmichael said prices might be down by 30 to 50 cents a kilogram from last year, but last year’s market was a particularly bullish one.
Mr Carmichael said the spring season looked to be a fairly good one, but naturally there were no guarantees in terms of seasonal outcomes.
However, while the market is still an unknown, farmers could reasonably expect to receive $100 to $120 for their new season suckers, he said.
“Most primary producers with their debt structure under control should be feeling fairly positive,” Mr Carmichael said.