Wool Buying, Such Honesty Is Unusual.

   Very refreshing and unprecedented to hear such honesty from a buyer/ processor such as Mr Mike Kuritani, twice in a few days. First on 18 May 2017 he explained that the Japanese were "undeterred  by the doubling price of wool." Which is contrary to what we have always been told as long as the wool industry has been going. Wool has been " too dear," the whinging has been never ending.

  Three days later he was quoted saying that " Lambs wool sweaters were not made from Lambs wool,  but from pieces or prem shorn fleece".

   No great surprise there, except for his honesty. I don't  know anyone who has ever seen a sweater branded, " Made from pieces"

    So were does the lambs wool go?   If it is finer than 18.5 microns, it can be and is sold as Cashmere  or Mohair,  Where it is worth eight to twelve times as much as wool, This applies to all wool under 18.5 microns, including locks and  crutchings.

    Naturally from a financial point it is the only way to go, as a Cashmere goat only cuts about 250 grams of fine fibre per year, the quantity to meet demand is not there, and never will be. But the  void is easily filled with Australian wool.

    Every processor has their own tricks,

     There has been a lot of comment on  feedback to growers from processors in the last few years on the supposed  technical attributes of the wool bought by them . It is all bullshit, as obviously as bales are scoured in large batches all identity is lost forever.

Animals Australia: Talking a Load of Crap., on Lamb Deaths.

   12 September 2017

  Protecting animals is great, I would be the first to agree. But to say 15 million lambs a year die in Australia in the first 48 hours after birth is ridiculous , but that is how Animals Australia is quoted in the Australian news paper. If we had been told half to 1 million it might have been believable,  To claim 15 million, you would have to be a ratbag. 

  Your own common sense, and  simple arithmetic, would tell you this is impossible.

  Animals Australia  seems to be taking after Peta and their lies,  maybe they are affiliated,  

  " Google "  ,  Peta Australia exposed as a  fraudulent organisation.     5th  October 2014.

Mulesing: Buyers Lacking Sincerity.

    21  August 2017. 

   As further proof  of wool buyers talking tish regarding price premiums for non - mulesed wool. 

Techwool Trading tells in a report in Queensland Country Life, of an explosion of unrealistic requests from wool buyers, i.e. .one asking wool growers to recite the 100 year history of the flock, and to guarantee that sheep weren't harmed during shearing . This indicates a clear lack of sincerity. 

 The dill who requested that obviously has no intention of ever paying a premium, for non - mulesed wool.  The answer is to give the buyers whatever declarations they want.

Australian Wool Handlers. C.E.O. Not Primed.

 The new  Chief Executive Officer for  A,.W. H.  Michael Jones  seems to have been handled rather maliciously by someone in the company. When he knows very little about wool, and I wouldn't expect him to, but that is not unusual for a new C.E.O. , and that is nothing against him.  

 To run him out in front of the Wool Export Innovation Summit in mid August 2017, so poorly prepared by his wool department was not fair, and embarrassing.

  To say 62% of wool comes into store without paperwork is unbelievable,  and  63% discrepancies in weight or branding, how can that be ?. Bales are not weighed until they reach the coreline in your store, branding mistakes 3% at most.

  He criticizes  wool buyers for wanting to " fiddle " with the wool, as though they don't need to. Surely your wool staff could have explained why they do it, to you. It must have been some of them who put you up to the 74  different types of categories.  What ever that is supposed to mean.

 I can tell you I have classed or reclassed or tipped out and checked  255,000 bales and no two of them were the same.    



Non - Mulesed Wool Premiums , An Illusion.

August 2017

  Premiums for non - mulesed wool  will probably always be an illusion. By all means fill in the non -mulesed declaration, anyone who doesn't is mad . But don't bet on getting premiums    

  With all sorts of promises and contracts to a select few flying around,  we must realize that overall they won't amount to much. Contracts taken twelve months ago don't look so good now ,unless the premium moves with the market.

   Some may remember the Dutch buyer who came out years ago ,lamenting the lack of nice lines of BKN that were not about any more, he said he would pay a premium for them in future.  But as I  pointed out at the time, that would be one minimum bid above the last bid.     We never heard of him again.

   It is still the same today, buyers make it sound as though its difficult, but it isn't, just jump in and pay a decent premium without the waffle and bulltish. Say 200c a kilogram more than the last bid . Or advise the brocker of their desire to pay the same premium after the sale on lots that they had bought . It wouldn't be knocked back. 

   The public doesn't know or care about mulesing, it is all a technique to keep down prices.


Cashmere, Is Your Cashmere Garment Really Cashmere ? Or Merino ?

  With allegedly only 3,600  tonnes of fine quality cashmere down produced each year in the world, about 150 grams per animal.

    How can there be so much product available at retail level,

    When  57,400 tonnes of fine and super fine wool is produced in Australia each year from 14 million sheep of 18 microns and finer, cutting an average of 4.1  kilograms each, 28 times the quantity of a cashmere goat.

     Why is so little fine merino wool available at a retail level, in comparison to cashmere and also  fine mohair, less of which is grown than cashmere

     Cashmere has always been historically worth eight to twevle times the value of merino wool of the same micron

     We know of a wool scouring plant that scoured, amongst other wool,4,500 to 6,000 carding bales per year, for many years,18.0 microns and finer,  around 405 to 540 tonnes clean, all destined to be sold as mohair. Now scoured overseas.

     We don't believe that this is morally right. But, the law of might is the law of right.

    Someone has to pay for all the mega yachts floating around the Mediterranean Sea.   

Australian Wool Innovation. Another Comedy..

   After the Wool Selling Systems Review has faded away as a waste of time, .A new comedy brings to mind a peviously one  in November 2014, this was the comedy masterpiece " If every shearer could shear one more sheep per day,  it would save the wool industry  $980,000 per year "

   I thought that would never be beaten for stupidity..

   Now the Chief Executive,  Stuart McCullough is quoted as saying,, 30th June 2017, with the Wool Exchange Portal saving  $38 million over FIFTEEN years,  and   that's,   "good value " No wonder only one media outlet reported it , the rest probably thought it was a joke.

   That's  0.7 of a cent per kg greasy or 1.0 cent per kg clean. If that's not a comedy I don't know what is.

  He is probably working on today's sheep numbers being the same in 2032, when they could be anywhere between 200 million and none.

  If Stuart really wants to do something for the Wool  Growers he should try to channel some of the vast sums of money,  which are currently  being cheated off the  Australian Industry, by the huge number of fine merino bales that are processed and sold as Cashmere and Mohair for eight to twelve times as much as merino wool of the same micron., and  has been going on for many years.  

    A fine merino will produce around four kilograms of wool per year, as much as  twenty eight cashmere goats can, No wonder the Europeans need merino wool to make up for the quantity of cashmere product required. 

   This is the main reason why it is not too dear to scour and process wool in Europe, when it is in  Australia,  that's obvious. 

   Maybe Australian wool finer than 18.5 mi, should be sold as Merino-Cashmere or Merino-Mohair that may put a better balance in place.     

  Further information on the same subject is available in " The Wool Sting "








Wool Market Reports . An Understanding

  It is very pleasing to see Mr Mike Kuritani of Itochu, admitting on 18/May/2017 on the A.B.C. that the Japanese are undeterred by the doubling price of wool. Contrary to many years of whinging from processors complaining about high prices, and the excited writings of rural scribes over the last year talking of record wool - price highs.

  Wool has been " dear " only once, 65 years ago during The Korean War.  A farmer told me years later that he sold the wool off 153 Corriedale sheep and from proceeds bought a new  Chevrolet sedan. Today that wool might buy a ride on lawn mower.

   Even at today's prices, a pair of socks made from 21 micron wool contains about 75cents worth of wool, a pair trousers/slacks $6.00 to $8.00 worth, a suit $15.00 to $20.00 worth.

   Because it has been so cheap, that is why there are so many Mega Yachts are floating around the Mediterranean Sea, and so many Chinese can come here and afford anything that they want.


Wool Exchange Portal - Slow Progress. May 2017

   Is the Wool Exchange Portal going to bring higher prices for wool, no one seems to think so, we have not heard of anyone who is excited about it. The Wool Selling Systems Reviews intention was to save costs, " sheeps back too ship," anyone with half a brain could tell you it couldn't be done,so it was a failure as expected. So it morphed into this W.E.P. system which will bring more costs, and no monetary benefits.

   On 28 April 2017 .On Sheep Central, Ms Anna Speers of Auction Plus, an online selling system, talks of selling 3,923,440 kgs of wool in 2016 and 1,251,795 kgs so far in 2017. Sounds great until you realise the industry talks in bales, and this is about 1% of the clip.

      In the same article it is stated by Australian Wool Innovation that " at 2016 pastoral award rates it would cost $580 million to shear 76 million sheep"  or $7.63 per sheep. Every shearer in Australia would be growning in dismay at that. How many young people will be misled into thinking that this looks good. When the award in 2016 is $ 2.87 per sheep.  Not enough for a pot of beer.

    Looks like it's morphing again.

    On 3rd May 2017 A.W.I. announced that now that they have more money, they will re-look at alternative shearing methods to lower shearing costs, where huge amounts have been wasted in the past, good luck.

     So let us be constructive. There are three ways to get higher prices for wool.  

     1/.  Increased demand, a never ending debate. Many $ millions wasted over the years, probably more to follow.

     2/. Better quality Wool Classing with it policed properly, with no unclassed, unskirted allowed to be sold at auction.

      3/  Wool testing methods to be updated, it has been a lottery for too long.

Sheep Shearing Three Times In Two Years, Not a bad idea.

            But don't believe all you hear.

    Recently as of March 2017 there has been several articles in the media on three shearings per two years. That's ok, l believe you would total more wool that way.

   But the proponents always leave out several points. They never explain that you cannot pick up and throw fleece on the skirting table for proper preparation. They claim to be able to get the inferior parts of the fleece out without the use of the wool table. Then say they get less pieces,  -  - of course, they are still in the fleece lines. 

   Then they claim to save on wages with less shed staff, of course they do, but with an inferior preparation of the clip they will obviously get a lower price for their clip. Some even claim not having the need of a Wool Classer, therefore selling with a D certificate, which will obviously attract less interest as many clients will not accept wool with the D certificate.They are not going to get the highest price possible.

   S & S. Smith of  Gore, Queensland. claim to have cut shearing costs from $ 8.50 to $ 4.50 per per head per year, or one and a half shearings, nothing for clip preparation, They seem to believe they still get full value for their clip. No one will ever know what they have lost with this second style preparation.  

   The $ 4.00 they claim to have saved is just a gift to the Mill owners, along with the difference of the better prices they could have got. Denying employment to shed staff and adversely affecting Australia's balance of trade.

   It is not something to blow your own bags about.  

Wool Classing.As A Career," Not What It's Cracked Up To Be."

                                                                              Email      woolmanvic@gmail.com

As long as I have been in the Wool Industry, whenever it has come up, outside the industry, that I am a Wool Classer, Wool Buyer, or Wool Merchant, people have always replied. "Oh that's a good job." And people still say it today.

  Don't get me wrong, I loved Wool Classing, especially my own wool, but I would not recommend it to anyone as a career in 2017 and into the future.

 I hate to see anyone misled and the industry is full of misleading information and bulltish.

 The Australian Wool Exchange, the registrar of Wool Classers,claims 19,200 registered Wool Classers in Australia.---Annual production is just under 2 million bales, 13 % sold unclassed, which means the average classer , classes 90 bales per year, four to five days work per year. 

 There is another mob called Open Universities Australia, they claim to train Wool Classers, they claim there are 16,600 full time classers in Australia, earning an average of $50,000 per year. 4864 of them employed in Queensland. There is only 1,820 000 sheep in Queensland, or about 11 bales of wool per Wool Classer. Worth $20,000 tops.How do they get away with such outrageous lies.

 The Master Classers of the Australian Wool Exchange " the best of the best ", only class on average 1330 bales of wool per year each, about 13 weeks work,on A.W.E.X.s own figures. How could anyone live on that.

 In the 1960s / 1970s there were 600 to 800  Wool Classers employed in Melbourne, in Wool Brokers, Wool Merchants and Wool Scouring Plants.   See Simon Crean who was Assisant Secretary/ Secretary, Storeman and Packers Union, from 1971 till 1990. Later Federal Leader of the Opposition 2001 to 2003. who covered those employees. Now there are none employed in Melbourne.

 Another problem was working for wool growers, they generally begrudge paying wages, many boast of paying full award wages ,without realising that this is the minimum you can pay. Above award payments are unheard of.

 I heard of a Wool Grower who exclaimed, " The Bastards". When it came over the radio one lunch time that the Commonwealth Industrial Court, had extended annual leave from 2 weeks to 3 weeks in 1963. I'll bet thousands of others said the same.

 Most Wool Growers have always been critical of middle men, merchants, traders, dealers or whatever they want to call themselves. Which is very shortsighted, the more competiton the better. When there were wool traders operating on the showfloor, a trader would have to pay more than the mills otherwise he wouldn't get any wool, no wool , out of business.

 i.e. The mill may have been going to get said lot at 200c, but the trader was prepared to pay 215c,  may have got it for say 210c, and sell it for 245c or more.

 But the grower still got 210c, why should he grizzle, but they did. I have tried to explain this to wool growers many times. Buckley's chance. The opportunity to do this, for the benefit of the wool grower, was denied with the demise of Sale by Subjective Measurment.

 So today there is no full time future for anyone in Wool Classing. When the Master Classers only average 13 weeks work per year , on A.W.E.X.s own figures, Anything otherwise is misleading.


Wool Testing. Needs An Update.

                                                                            Email              woolmanvic@gmail.com

Wool testing has always been a lottery, most importantly in the main price determinants, micron, yield,and vegetable matter.

  No lot of wool tested twice by A.W.T.A.,unbeknown to them, (with a different brand) ever repeats the same results.

  It may be similar but that is a lottery. Ask for a retest on tested wool, and if the micron is up to 0.4 either side of the original, the original is confirmed, yield and vegetable matter with similar allowances.

  Now that there is  200 cent per kg difference between some microns, that can be a range of 160 cents,without allowing for errors in yield and vegetable matter.

  Why, if a retest says a lot is 0.4 microns finer than originally tested, why not use it for the growers  benifit.  woolman.biz