Seeing is to believe for Bill

Wool prices return to the heady heights of the 1950's


Wool
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Queensland wool producer Bill Husskisson travelled to the Sydney Wool Sales to see his clip sell.

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Unreal Prices: Bill Huskisson, Wattle Downs, The Gums travelled to the Sydney Wool Sales for the first time this week to see his wool clip sold.

Unreal Prices: Bill Huskisson, Wattle Downs, The Gums travelled to the Sydney Wool Sales for the first time this week to see his wool clip sold.

Veteran wool producer Bill Huskisson made his first trip to the Sydney Wool Sales this week to watch his clip sell. The early wool market jumped five per cent before levelling to an overall increase of one per cent on last week’s result.

Mr Huskisson, who in partnership with his wife Loma and daughter Karen, Wattle Downs, The Gums, offered 25 bales of December shorn wool through Australian Wool Network. 

The Wattle Downs clip sold to a top price of 1871c/kg, or a net return of $15,997 for their five top bales.

“Although I know about how wool sales work, I said to my agent, Steve Maunder of Australian Wool Network, that I really wanted to see a Sydney sale in action,” Mr Huskisson said. 

“I last attended a wool sale in Brisbane about 40 years ago, and said to him if I don’t go soon I never will get there – so thanks to him I am here.

“It really is the best price in a very long time as we haven’t received anything equivalent to it since the early 1950s during the Korean War.”

Mr Huskisson said they also realised a gross of $2214/bale for locks, netting $2012/bale, which was unheard of.

“These prices have been a long time coming, and the market has got to stay up like this for another 12 months or more, so everyone gets a go at it,” he said.

“Unfortunately for those wanting to get back into wool, you will find you can’t buy a Merino ewe for under $100.”  

The Wattle Downs wool offered was from their dry sheep, including wethers and weaners that only had seven months of wool on their backs. The sheep were December shorn and the draft included 400 wethers and 570 weaners. 

It really is the best price in a very long time as we haven’t received anything equivalent to since the early 1950s - Bill Huskisson

Prior to October, Mr Huskisson said the season was terrible. 

“It started to rain the the middle of October just as lambing had commenced, and in a week the whole season has turned around,” he said. 

Mr Huskisson completed a wool classing course at the Central Technical College in Brisbane in 1947 and classed his first clip as a professional wool classer in 1950.

Now at 85 years of age he is still active at Wattle Downs, but he said management roles have been reversed.

“Once I gave the orders and my daughter Karen would do the jobs, but these days Karen gives the instructions, and I do what I’m told,” he said. 

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