Classing getting tighter

26 Jul, 2000 03:01 PM

CLASSING wool to tighter specifications and different styles was the way Great Southern woolgrowers could improve returns, the recent Elders/Sunny Valley wool workshop was told. Elders Great Southern District wool manager John Currie, along with Elders National Wool Marketing manager Craig Turner, told growers that wool buyers were becoming more selective and looking for wool within tighter parameters. Mr Currie presented the information during the practical part of the workshop, where part of the aim was to show growers how to class to specific lines and where growers could look at different fleeces to determine which was of better quality and therefore be more attractive to the buyer. He said this was "the key to how you can improve your returns, presenting the buyer with what he wants". He urged the group of about 60 woolgrowers to start looking at wool "in its wool type, and starting classing to that type". "Carry that right through your shearing shed," he said. Style of the wool was one area that Mr Currie believed could be built on to gain an advantage over other woolgrowers. "The more stylish the wool, the more micron advantage you will have. The two go hand in hand," he said. "Never class just on micron without looking at style." Mr Currie told woolgrowers that, once they started mixing style, micron, stapling and other wool features they were doing themselves a disservice. In saying that, he also told woolgrowers that microns weren't everything and they made up only 35 per cent of the price paid for wool. While he couldn't pin down an exact figure for the style of wool, he did say that it was getting higher in percentage, particularly in the elite market, which he predicted could be as high as 10pc. Mr Currie also said this percentage and how much style was in the wool depended on who was dominating the market, using the Chinese as an example of where it matters very little. Mr Turner agreed with Mr Currie, calling style the "depth of breeding". But Mr Turner also warned growers to not pick a quality fleece on softness alone, telling them to look at visual traits as well. "Everyone is going to have a different interpretation of what softness is," he said.


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