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Australian Cardings wools sees highest price in 30 years

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It is often referred to as the daggiest wool on the sheep, but carding wool is now in hot demand, worth almost as much as a merino fleece. Cardings, which are often the greasy, short locks, are fetching almost $12 a kilo — the highest price in 30 years.

On ABC Rural CEO of Michell Wool Steven Read said he had not seen prices like this before.

According to Australia’s largest processor of merino and crossbred cardings, Michell Wool, demand is as strong as ever from overseas and they have had to increase their factory hours to keep up

“Typically cardings, which are your locks, your crutchings, your lambs, shorter pieces and bellies, traded at a fair discount to fleece wools,” he said. “We have seen the fleece wools holding a very attractive pricing but these cardings come up incredibly close to them, so we are looking at record pricing for what some people might call oddments.”

Mr Read said, typically, cardings could sell anywhere between $7.50 to $8.50 a kilo, so he said producers were excited by the jump.

“I think a lot of farmers this year seeing their profits would be astonished with what they are getting for their locks compared to their fleece wool,” he said. “And of course the argument is that why wouldn’t fleece wool be higher, which would be nice for all of us if that was the case.”

He said the big driver behind the price increase was a move by overseas customers to double-faced fabric, which is a woven fabric made out of woollen yarn typically made from shorter wools and has two right sides and no wrong side.

“They are making this into jackets for men and women and it does seem as though tailored jackets are replacing the parkas or puffer jackets that have been in fashion in the Northern Hemisphere for almost ten years.”

Michell Wool is now running its factory 24 hours a day for six days a week in Adelaide and 24/7 in its processing plant in Suzhou, China.

However Mr Read said they had been able to keep up with demand. “We are significant buyers at auction, we have a dealer network through New South Wales, Victoria, Western Australia and Queensland and we deal directly with growers in South Australia.

“We have had to pull out all supply avenues to make sure that factory is busy and we are using about 2,500 bales a week of cardings.”

Source: ABC Rural

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