The new wool selling season is off to a steady if unspectacular start.
The first South Island sale of the season, on Thursday produced some small price gains as well as reductions. Almost 90% of the 8000 bales up for auction were sold.
There was a 96% clearance rate for the first North Island sale of the season last week, with prices for most wools increasing slightly.
Wool Services International marketing executive Malcolm Ching says prices are holding firm at a time of year when international demand is quiet. He says a lot of northern European mills normally close down for about a month, and coupled with that, there is a quiet market in China and India.
Mr Ching says the fall in supply because of weather-related disruption to shearing is helping to hold prices at a time of lower demand - though he doesn't expect a glut when that wool comes off the sheep.
He says the longer-term outlook for the season is reasonably positive, with indications from international fairs that wool is starting to become fashionable again. Some credit for that, he says, should go to the international campaign for wool.