13 Aug 2015

New lamb's wool prices 'break new ground'

3:58 pm on 13 August 2015

The increased price farmers are being offering for lamb's wool is breaking some new ground for cross-bred wool growers, says Wools of New Zealand.


Photo: 123rf

The farmer owned marketing and sales company will pay farmers a contract price of $7.50 a kilo for 28 to 31.5 micron lamb's wool produced this season.

That is a 15 cents a kilo increase on the price it was offering at the beginning of July, which the company said reflected positive movements in the exchange rate.

The improved price is also a 20 percent increase over last season's contract price of $6.25 a kilo.

Wools of New Zealand chairman Mark Shadbolt said the company was looking for significant amounts of wool to fill the contract with European buyers, which is why the offer has been extended beyond it's 720 farmer shareholders.

"I wouldn't go quite as far as saying this is a record-breaking contract, but in my time of 30 years of farming, I don't think we've seen contracts available to farmers at this level, in other words with a seven in front of it, and at the time of year. So we're talking about a contract available in July or August for supply next January, February, March.

"The equivalent type of wool over the last selling season was probably sitting at about $6.30 for the seasonal spot price (at auction). Our contract at the same time was $6.25, so we're very pleased to be able to put this new contract in front of growers for what is now $7.50."

Mr Shadbolt said the contract to supply wool for fabrics had grown, both in terms of the price and the size of the order.

"This contract's been building for the last five years. We started selling two container loads of wool. It's increased both in volume and price annually, with increases of at least a dollar a kilo, year on year. And we now have an exclusive supply agreement for that contract, which is going into very high quality fabrics."

Mr Shadbolt said Wools of New Zealand was helping the customer to sell the product and create further demand.

Wools of New Zealand has also just appointed a new chief executive, Rosstan Mazey, currently global marketing manager at Turners and Growers. He will be moving to his new job next month.