SUPERFINE was not the only wool in demand last week, with some super strong fibre from the Mid West selling at a significant premium.
Three lines of 21 micron Merino fleece from Anthony Thomas's Hill Padua clip at Three Springs tested at more than double the October State average wool staple strength.
Two of the lines, yielding 69.1 per cent and 74pc, with staple lengths of 74 and 63 millimetres from a six-month shearing, registered a tensile strength of 71 Newtons per kilotex (N/kt).
A third line yielding 73.6pc with 70mm staple length, registered 69N/kt staple strength.
Those three fleece lines, plus another two, were bought by Techwool Trading.
The weakest wool in the entire Hill Padua clip, sold by Westcoast Wool & Livestock on the first trading day at the Western Wool Centre (WWC) last week, registered 50N/kt staple strength.
According to Australian Wool Testing Authority statistics, in October the average staple strength of WA wool was 32.1N/kt and for the July 1-October 31 season so far, the average WA wool strength was 31.9N/kt.
The top Hill Padua line of 10 bales of 17.1 micron lambs wool, yielding 70pc, sold to Swan Wool Exports for 1479 cents per kilogram greasy (2113c/kg clean).
The complete Hill Padua clip, including pieces, bellies and locks averaged 1138c/kg greasy.
Tianyu Wool was the third buyer to successfully bid on Hill Padua's wool.
Hill Padua is one of 10 Westcoast Wool & Livestock clients that are registered as Responsible Wool Standard (RWS) woolgrowers.
RWS is a voluntary global assurance standard that takes farming practices in relation to both animals and land into consideration.
Registration requires a farm audit, with RWS providing fashion houses creating in wool and their clients a tangible guarantee that sustainable and humane standards are employed in growing and harvesting wool used in their garments.
Westcoast Wool & Livestock auctioneer Danny Ryan said both the "exceptional" tensile strength of the Hill Padua clip and its RWS registration contributed to a sale premium.
"When you compare what this wool sold for against what other wool of the same micron sold for, I would say the premium was about 20pc," Mr Ryan said.
"There is definitely a premium for wool with that sort of tensile strength because exporters struggle to manage (staple) mid-break at this time of year.
"Test data and a high calibre of clip like this fixes a lot of problems for exporters and this clip just came along at the perfect time for them."
Mr Thomas said he was very pleased with his clip quality - particularly strength - and the sale result.
"We've produced wool that has tested at 70N/kt before, but this at 71N/kt is our new record," Mr Thomas said.
"We're doing something right - I'd say it's the result of a combination of factors, including a good season with no shortage of feed, our breeding and the short wool."
Mr Thomas said Hill Padua had been shearing at six-monthly intervals for the past four years.
About 7000 sheep, including about 2800 ewes and the balance hoggets, lambs and rams, had gone through the shearing shed, with a team of four shearers rather than the usual five this time because of the shearer shortage, to produce the 79 bales put up for auction last week.
Mr Thomas said Hill Padua had been part of an assurance scheme controlled by Control Union for three years before it sought RWS registration earlier this year.
"(When Hill Padua's operation was inspected for registration) the only thing they could find wrong with the place was the shed where we keep all our chemicals didn't have a sign on the door saying 'chemical stored here'," he said.
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