Central West benefits from wool industry's surging demands

ON THE RISE: TWG Landmark wool area manager Mark Horsburgh, with wool at the AWH Bathurst Wool Store on Stewart Street. Photo: PHIL BLATCH 111317pbwool4
ON THE RISE: TWG Landmark wool area manager Mark Horsburgh, with wool at the AWH Bathurst Wool Store on Stewart Street. Photo: PHIL BLATCH 111317pbwool4

The Central West wool industry is reaping the benefits of surging demands, as wool in Australia traded for a record high of 1681 cents per clean kilogram in on Friday.

Thanks to surging exports demands to both China and Italy, wool has been rising in price since February.

TWG Landmark wool area manager Mark Horsburgh said the demand shows the quality of wool Australia has on offer.

“We’re the biggest producers of merino wool in the world,” he said.

“Wool quality is really good in the Central West. Some of the country’s best wool is produced here.

Mr Horsburgh said demand has come quickly.

“There’s several reasons why we’ve seen the demand. The Chinese middle class are wearing more clothes made out of wool,” he said.

“There’s also been an overall demand from Europe, especially Italy. The Italians are the elite end of market, making soft garments and expensive suits.”

Wool growers are making the most of the conditions and volumes for next week’s auctions have jumped 12 per cent, with almost 50,000 bales scheduled to be sold.

Mr Horsburgh said there is potential for the wool market to continue to grow.

“The big push at the moment is a lot to do with shipping orders before Christmas,” he said.

“The market is sustainable and the demand will last for a considerable amount of time. I don’t think it’ll crash like it did in 2011.

“We might see more people invest in the wool industry if we are still talking the same amount of people come this time next year.” 

In the second week of November last year, wool was going for just 1290 cents a kilogram, meaning the price has jumped nearly 400 cents in 12 months.

It had hovered around 1000 cents for the previous few Novembers. 

“Wool farmers went through several years when people weren’t paying enough for it and they moved on,” Mr Horsburgh said. 

“The people still in it, they’re the best producers in the world. They stuck at it.”