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Wool Exporter Crosses The Auction Line

20 August 2008

International Wool Exporter Crosses The Auction Line

One of New Zealand’s leading wool exporters will start its own wool auction next month as part of a new suite of alternatives for North Island woolgrowers.

In addition to the auction Segard Masurel will continue to offer farmers shed selling and long term contracts at fixed or indexed prices. The expansion recognises strong grower dissatisfaction with wool prices in recent years and comes with a promise that its supporters will get greater feedback from local and overseas mills to take account of price premiums.

The former wool manager for Allied Farmers, Mr Scott McLeod will head the expansion of Masurel Direct which already buys significant quantities of wool direct from farmers sheds.

The move by a wool exporter to run its own auctions crosses an unwritten demarcation line that has existed between wool brokers and buyers for generations. In recent times this line has been crossed by wool brokers who have become involved in exporting in recent times. The first Masurel Direct catalogue will go to auction in Napier during September.

Segard Masurel is a family owned global wool company that has exported New Zealand wool for 101 years and has significant operations in Australia, Belgium, France and South Africa.

It is one of New Zealand’s leading wool exporters with an annual turnover of around 200,000 bales in three key markets – New Zealand carpet manufacture, China and Northern Europe. The company also has a diverse range of clients in another 40 countries.

Segard Masurel’s New Zealand chief executive, Peter Whiteman of Wellington, said the company is a well balanced business with a strong balance sheet. He said that the new initiative would give wool growers an option to auction wool in addition to the traditional private buying direct from the farm.

“Our supply route is offered on the back of a very sound, long term commercial background and an existing network of offices and agents worldwide. This enables us to extract the very best from our relationships that will reflect in the prices we achieve for growers,” he said.

“This expansion has the interests of wool growers’ firmly in mind and represents an international investment at the New Zealand grass roots level. But unlike the proposed untried co-operative hybrid it does not require New Zealand farmers to risk any of their capital to reap gains from an integrated marketing pipeline,” he said.

Mr McLeod, who is the Segard Masurel auction wool manager, grew up on a Hawke’s Bay farm and after graduating from university he joined Elders in Gisborne for 14 years.

Twelve years ago he joined Allied Farmers in Wanganui as it wool manager and recently resigned from this position when the company was taken over by PGG Wrightson.

“There is a lot of grower interest in dealing with a truly integrated wool selling pipeline that gives them every possible selling option from direct contract to the end user through to selling in the shed,” Mr McLeod said.


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