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Refusal To Cooperate May Lead To Softer Wool Price

17 December 2008

Refusal To Co-Operate May Lead To Softer Wool Prices

North Island wool prices may be affected at tomorrow’s auction because of the refusal of Wool Partners International to co-operate with other brokers and smooth the flow of wool coming onto the market.

The sale will see the season peak in the North Island at more than 18,000 bales. Exporters asked for help from the Hawke’s Bay Brokers Roster Committee comprising Wool Partners International, Elders Primary Wool, Country Wool Auctions and Masurel Direct.

By smoothing the flow of wool through January and February the rosters could be brought down to around 10,000 for each sale.

The roster group met at the request of wool exporters who asked for a more even spread of wool over the next three months to assist them deal with serious financial issues that have arisen over the last few weeks.

Philippa Wright of Country Wool Auctions said she was shocked and dismayed at the total lack of consideration and the dismissal of genuine concerns from within the industry.

“They are supposed to be open to a co-operative approach from within the industry, but instead they could be setting the market up for a fall,” Ms Wright said.

“Wool has held up reasonably well until now, but a price fall this Thursday will send the wrong signals to overseas buyers and will be a disaster for woolgrowers.

Wool exporter Peter Crone from John Marshall and Co said smoothing the flow and removing the December peak would have been very helpful to exporters who are facing extremely difficult challenges.

“Already some unscrupulous clients are using the cheaper market to try and renegotiate old contracts both here in NZ and Australia. This is not helping an already fragile market,” Mr Crone said.

Barry Chamberlain from Wool Partners International in Napier said the company had no policy on the matter of smoothing the flow and he would not discuss the company’s reasons for not co-operating.

Wool Partners International is the old PGG Wrightson wool business and is chaired by Theresa Gattung. It is presently a private company with plans to become a hybrid co-operative and raise capital from woolgrowers sometime in the New Year.


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