THE number of bales offered at eastern states’ wool auctions has jumped 15 per cent this season, as dry conditions kick-start spring shearing.
Australian Wool Exchange reported 484,328 bales have been offered nationally at sales this selling season, compared to 438,811 in the same period of 2016-17, triggering a 10.4pc rise in volume offered so far this season nationally.
The increase was carried by a 15pc influx of volume at auctions in Sydney and Melbourne, with 401,000 bales put under the hammer, compared with 349,000 in the 15 week period last season.
This marks the highest volume offered at sales since 2013-14.
Ron Leggatt, Leggatt Shearing Contractor, Dubbo, NSW, said there were several reasons at play including opportunistic shearing and selling, as well as a rain-free shearing run in most regions.
“There has been very little rain so everyone has been able to complete their shearing without any delay,” Mr Leggatt said.
“We’re also seeing more people shearing at six months who would usually shear at 12 months.”
With prices taking off at a similar time last year, Mr Leggatt said clients’ were attempting to sell into a rising spring market.
“A few clients usually store some wool but the market is so good they’re selling,” he said.
“This time last year the market kicked so some people have shorn early thinking the market is going to be solid again.”
AWEX senior market analyst Lionel Plunkett said historical trends show on average 20 per cent of the national bales were offered in September, while last month represented 25pc of projected volume.
“It indicates the dry conditions on the eastern seaboard haven’t delayed shearing which is clearly well advanced,” Mr Plunkett said.
“If we have wool being sold forward, it will be at the expense of wool coming onto the market later in the year, particularly late November and December.”
Australia Wool Testing Authority reported a rise of 15pc in the total lots, 10.4pc in the number of bales tested and 6.6pc in weight for September 2017 compared with the same period last season.
AWTA has tested 82 million kilograms this season compared with 76.9 mkg for the equivalent period last year.
Nationally AWTA has tested 544,564 bales this season, with the biggest volumes – a combined total of 346,177 bales – split fairly evenly between Victoria and NSW.
In South Australia, the seasonal comparison of number of bales offered is down nearly six per cent, falling from 76,265 bales to 72,062 this season.
The fall was more dramatic in Western Australia which has recorded a fall of 7.7pc of wool offered at Freemantle auctions this season, falling from 89,517 recorded in the first 15 weeks of 2016-17 to 82,637 for the same period this season.
AWTA have tested 100,959 bales in WA this season, down from 131,900 tested in the same period last season.
The conditions mirror that of 2013-14, when much of the country experienced a dry-induced sheep turn-off which led to a spike in the volume of wool offered at the opening of the spring selling season.