SHEARING at six months and a three-month even-up lamb shearing had little affect on the prices Paul Shiner’s wool clip generated at the Western Wool Centre (WWC) last week.
Other than a cut of less than a kilogram per head from lambs shorn in January after a previous shearing in October, Mr Shiner, Pingrup, could see no downside this season from shortening his shearing intervals.
“We’re coming off an eight months shearing last season in a good year, to six months this season,” Mr Shiner said.
“We’ll do it six months every time if it ends up like this.”
Mr Shiner admitted he was lucky last year with summer rains that “worked all the way through the season for us” and made it feasible to shear all his 4700 sheep and lambs in late January, when the adult sheep had been shorn last July.
But he said he may have to adjust the intervals between shearings in future to suit the seasons.
“This season it’s pretty dry down there now so we’re feeding sheep at the moment,’’ he said.
“It’s a long time since we’ve had rain so things might be down next shearing, we’ll just play it by ear.”
Mr Shiner said he had 2600 ewes ready to lamb again.
“We’re probably going to have to sell all of last year’s lambs to cut the feed bill,” he said.
Having just sold 540 lambs bare shorn over the hooks, he said he was very pleased with the prices lambs were bringing for meat as well as wool.
Mr Shiner sold 84 bales last Thursday to a top of 1271 cents a kilogram greasy for his fleece wool which averaged 20.6 micron with staple lengths between 56 and 65 millimetres and yields ranging from 62.2 to 67.8 per cent.
His lambs’ wool sold for between 1198 and 1241c/kg, with no apparent discount for a lack of length.
Also selling his wool last Thursday was Kim Noonan, Katanning, who paid tribute to his stock manager Kerryn Stephens for the quality of wool produced.
“He deserves the credit because he’s done 99pc of the work,” Mr Noonan said.
His 2600 ewe flock produced 73 bales at a late January shearing brought forward by over a month to take advantage of the exceptional wool market and to prevent the wool growing out too long.
“We’ve still got a similar number of lambs and young sheep to go so we’ll probably start (shearing) them next week and get the wool up here and tested pretty quick,” Mr Shiner said.
Mr Noonan continued the family tradition started by his father Terry and uncle Frank of selling his wool through Elders and achieved a best price of 1350c/kg for his top line of 20.8 micron, 99mm staple length wool with 71.4pc yield.
“I’m very happy with these prices because effectively, I’ve still got my best wool to come,” he said.
After a week of retreat the WWC live auction market turned around last week with the Western Indicator heading back towards the 1900c/kg clean barrier it had smashed through for the first time a fortnight before.
It finished the week up 16 cents at 1895c/kg compared to the benchmark Eastern Market Indicator which was up 8c to 1820c/kg, according to the Australian Wool Exchange (AWEX).
Fleece wool prices from 18 to 21 micron rose sharply on Wednesday last week but the intensity eased off with smaller micron price guide increases across the same range on Thursday.
After being the stellar performer at the end of last year, the Merino cardings guide continued to bounce around, finishing down 29c at 1306c/kg for the week, 258c off its high, while most other micron price guides finished 53c or less below their top.
The 20 and 21 micron guides set new AWEX records to finish the week at 1994c/kg and 1898c/kg respectively.
A trickle of Superfine wool continued to attract top prices at the WWC last week with a line of 14.6 micron, 69mm wool appraised as ASF5S and yielding 72.2pc selling for 2441c/kg greasy, or 3381c/kg clean.
With early autumn shearings the number of bales on offer this week was expected to increase by almost 700 to 9858 at the WWC.
p Buyers and brokers at the Western Wool Centre stopped for a minute’s silence before last Thursday’s fleece auctions as a mark of respect to a former colleague who died earlier last week.
Sale room sheriff and Victorian Wool Processors’ buyer Neville Armstrong said Clive Robert Squires, 65, had died peacefully after being diagnosed some 10 years ago with Parkinson’s Disease.
From England, Mr Squires had worked in New Zealand’s wool industry before coming to Perth where he was a “big buyer”, Mr Armstrong said.
He had bought wool for Modiano, Cargill and PJ Morris Wools, he said.