WOOLGROWERS and classers throughout WA were recognised for their excellence in growing and classing top quality wools at the Elders Supreme Clip of the Sale award presentations in Perth last week.
There was plenty of enthusiasm in the room at the Pagoda Resort & Spa, Como, as the Elders team welcomed more than 150 passionate producers and classers from Esperance to Mingenew and east to Merredin, in acknowledgement of the hard work that had gone into preparing the cream of the Elders' clips for the 2020/21 season.
Elders State wool and livestock manager Dean Hubbard said it was great to be able to host the wool awards this year after having last year's event cancelled due to the pandemic.
"It's been a trying and testing 12 months for all in the industry but there certainly hasn't been a better time to be in sheep and wool," Mr Hubbard said.
"I would like to say a giant thank you to everyone that is here tonight as you all play an important role in the wool industry.
"To our clients thank you for producing a quality product and entrusting Elders to market your wool, and to the classers thank you for preparing these clips, your efforts are greatly appreciated."
The past 12 months hasn't been an easy one for the wool industry with it feeling the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic which not only caused the market to fall significantly but also saw the way wool sales were held change.
Mr Hubbard said for the rolling 12 months the industry had seen 43 wool sales in WA, and while there were COVID-19 restricted sales, which saw auctioneers wearing masks and face-screens and growers restrictions at sales, no sales were cancelled.
"It has certainly been a trying 12 months for the industry, when it comes to prices," Mr Hubbard said.
"The Western Market Indicator (WMI) hit a low of 909 cents (clean) a kilogram in September last year but we have since seen it improve and today it is now sitting at 1477c/kg which is the highest it has been in the past 12 months.
"We saw huge prices fluctuations in the market throughout the season, five times we saw fluctuations exceeding 100c/kg and five times it fluctuated more than 50c/kg.
"The largest single day fall was 123c/kg in August while the largest single day rise was 113c/kg in October."
When it came to national offerings Mr Hubbard said these over the past 12 months ranged from 15,000 to 62,000 bales, while passed in rates varied between 1.4 per cent to a high of 65pc in August last year.
"But Mr Hubbard said it was not only the wool market which was showing good signs for producers.
"On a rolling 12 months sheep turn-off is down 600,000 head on 2020 and up 100,000 head on 2019," Mr Hubbard said.
"While we have seen 1.5 million sheep go to the east over the past 12 months that hasn't all been bad for the industry.
"Without these sheep going to the east our market would look vastly different to the one we are experiencing, as live export numbers are down about one million head and processing numbers are down about 600,000 head."
In another positive for the industry Mr Hubbard said lamb marking results had so far been very good and could be the best we have seen for many years.
"So with a great seasonal outlook, a positive outlook for sheepmeat and wool, both domestically and internationally, it's a fantastic time to be in sheep and wool."
Also speaking during the evening, Elders WA State general manager Nick Fazekas echoed Mr Hubbard's comments about the future looking bright for the industry.
"The past 12-18 months have been difficult for everyone due to COVID-19," Mr Fazekas said.
"It has slowed us getting out with clients as the network has been very respectful of COVID-19 protocols but it is good to see everyone here tonight.
"In the past two decades, I don't think there has been a better time to be in agriculture.
"We have very low interest rates, livestock prices at all time highs and here in the west we have some great rainfall events which is setting the season up well.
"We have an arm in our operation called Thomas Elder Markets (TEM) and in it we have a couple of people who analyse commodities and futures and provide insights into what is happening both globally and domestically in our agriculture markets.
"Based on their analysis and what we are seeing on the ground, the outlook for sheep meat and wool looks positive.
"They are saying the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation is predicting strong growth in demand for sheep meat by the end of the decade from the developing world, which is good news for sheep producers in Australia as we are one of the major exporters of sheepmeat in the world.
"However, while we have seen an increased focus on our sheep meat exports with 70-75pc of our production exported, we have seen a drop in our domestic consumption in the past 2020 year on the back of higher prices which have been driven by this export market.
"Domestic lamb consumption has fallen from 12 kilograms per annum per capita in 2000 to 6kg in 2020 year, while mutton has fallen from 7kg to 0.35kg over the same time.
"Worldwide consumption of lamb sits only at 5pc which is surprising and even in Australia its only 6pc.
"These numbers are quite a low number which means the sheep meat market is a niche market and this poses a number of opportunities and challenges."
In terms of sheep and lamb prices Mr Fazekas said the market looked like it would continue to be strong.
"The Eastern States Trade Lamb Indicator is forecast to average 815c/kg carcase weight (CWT) for 2021 and likely range from 700-975c/kg CWT and in 2022 it is expected average 845c/kg CWT."
From a wool perspective Mr Fazekas said despite the highs and lows of the past 12 months if you look at the market for the past 10 years the long term average is still good especially when you look at where prices were in the past.
"Wool doesn't trade in isolation and when compared to other fibres wool has held up reasonably well over the past five years," Mr Fazekas said.
"The COVID-19 pandemic has certainly had an effect on the wool market with short-term hurdles, in terms of supply chain delays and access to containers, and has also changed the demand for wool.
"COVID-19 has changed how we work and in turn the type of clothes we are buying and wearing. There has been a drop in demand for wool suits with sales down 40pc while leisure wear hasn't seen the same fall in demand."
"Modelling indicates that the wool market has bottomed and we believe in 2021 and beyond we will continue to see a recovery in the wool market.
"We are in for some exciting times ahead."
- The information quoted has been provided from TEM and all market enquiries should be directed to TEM.
Supreme Clip Winners
Sale F01: Peter and Robyn Tilbrook, Darkan
Classer: Peter Tilbrook, Darkan
Sale F02: Ross and Ruth Scott, T & M Scott & Son, Yallingup
Classer: Alan Franklin, Busselton
Sale F06: Peter, Anne, Jack and Robert Mitchell, PC & AM Mitchell, Mingenew
Classer: Craig Coghlan, Dongara
Sale F07: Cranston Pty Ltd, Serpentine
Classer: Narelle Millett and Sallane Kirkwood, Narrogin
Sale F08: Greg, Lyn, Luke Daneeka, Ben and Lauren Yates, Yeringa Park Estate, Trayning
Classer: Courtney Millar, Bencubbin
Sale F10: Kristian and Brendan Forward, Forward Farming, Goomalling
Classer: Kristian Forward, Goomalling
Sale F11: Louise, Tom and Lizzi Kerse, Altek Farms, Merredin
Classer: Sherry Pekamu, Narembeen and Lisa Backhouse, Narembeen
Sale F12: Bill, Diane, Peter and Felicity Cowan, Crichton Vale stud, Narembeen
Classer: Suzie Harder, Narembeen and Lena Tunui, Narembeen
Sale F13: Mervyn, Betty, Colin, Emily and Lachlan Ogilvie, Narembeen
Classer: Cherry Somerscales, Tambellup
Sale F14: Grant and Amy Park, JC Dempster & Son, Grass Valley
Classer: Melissa Boyce, Northam
Sale F16: Paul, Christine, Daniel and Aaron Schilling, Schilling Enterprises, Beverley
Classer: Paul Schilling, Beverley
Sale F17: Epasco Farms, Esperance
Classer: Daniel Koopman, Esperance and Craig Hedrick, Hopetoun
Sale F18: Tom and Diane Hughes, T & D Hughes, Hyden
Classer: Diane Hughes, Hyden
Sale F19: Neil, Margie, James and Jeannie Kelly, JE Kelly, Kojonup
Classer: Eric M Brown, Kojonup
Sale F20: Greg Doyle and Karen Hulls and Ben and Cindy Doyle, Wylivere Farms, Corrigin
Classer: Aroha Garvin, York
Sale F21: James and Angie Stirling, AK Stirling & Co, Kendenup
Classer: Therese Bourke, Dubbo, NSW
Sale F22: Rodney and Jeff Gors, DJ & BM Gors & Co, Moora
Classer: Kumeroa Karaitiana, York
Sale F23: Kym, Tanya, Sheralee and Jonathon Mason, Barney Downs, Cascade
Classer: Gayson Moeke, Esperance
Sale F24: Brad and Lisa Sinclair, BR & LL Sinclair, Moora
Classer: Milton Brown, Moora
Sale F25: Michael and Kathy Sadler, S Sadler & Co, Wongan Hills
Classer: Paula Young Calingiri
Sale F29: Campbell and Kathleen Schilling, Schilling Holdings Pty Ltd, Bruce Rock
Classer: Tyna Kinita, Bruce Rock
Sale F30: John and Debbie McTaggart, JH McTaggart, Glen Mervyn
Classer: Bobbie-Liege Boyd, Burekup
Sale F31: Grant, Sharyn and Lauren Sinclair, GP & SL Sinclair, New Norcia
Classer: Monique Sullivan, Parndana
Sale F32: Phillip, Daniel and Gemma Gooding and Ross and Sharon Robinson, Tarin Rock (WA) Pty Ltd, East Mundalla stud, Tarin Rock
Classer: Jessica Banks, Wagin
Sale F33: Brain, Shirley and Shaun Westlake and Anissa Williams, P & B Westlake & Co, Calingiri
Classer: Paula Young, Calingiri
Sale F34: Tim and Vicki House, Acre Farm, Kojonup
Classer: Jordan Morgan, Boyup Brook
Sale F35: Gary and Wendy Lorrimar, BH Styles & Partners, Highbury
Classer: Phyllis Wallace, Narrogin
Sale F36: Brett, Sharon and Shanae Jones, Ejanding stud, Dowerin
Classer: Janelle Hauiti, York
Sale F37: Phil Earnshaw, PA & GM Earnshaw, Williams
Classer: S Taitapanui, Cranbrook
Sale F38: John and Kim Pugh, RF Pugh & Co, Narrikup
Classer: Leon Lemin, Lower King
Sale F39: Wayne and Debra Smith, Wongamine Grazing, Northam
Classer: Melissa Boyce, Northam
Sale F40: Chris and Wendy Carter, AL Carter & Co, Cunderdin
Classer: Joann Kingi, Gnowangerup
Sale F42: Matt Nield and Emma Pinnick, Blackwood Grazing, Karridale
Classer: Wayne Roberts, Rockingham
Sale F43: Richard, Marcia, Bevan and Roz Norrish, BJ & R Norrish & Son, Ravensthorpe
Classer: Murray Trigwell, Gnowangerup
Sale F45: Norm and Georgie Beecroft, NR & GL Beecroft, Brookton
Classer: Norm Beecroft, Brookton
Sale F46: Roland, Owen, Elaine and Murray Gent, Sommerford Park Grazing, Trayning
Classer: Brett Millar, Courtney Millar and Warrick Millar, Bencubbin
Sale F47: Darrell, Cerena, Sean, Mascha, Luke and Cassie Stratford, Stratford and Sons, Wyalkatchem
Classer: Courtney Millar, Bencubbin
Sale F48: Kingsley, Barbara, Mark and Lisa Scott, Kimbadell Pastoral Company, Esperance
Classer: Melinda Young, East Munglinup
Sale F49: Ashley Reichstein and Megan McDowall, Laurina Farms, Esperance
Classer: Mark Sargent, Esperance
Sale F51: Richard and Cindy House, FO & PM House, Barloo stud, Gnowangerup
Classer: Shane Nicholas, Gnowangerup