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Review to Australia’s wool selling systems

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The wool selling systems review, released this month, recommended the development of a wool exchange portal to allow growers to sell wool electronically as well as promote cost transparency. Wool growers could be asked to fund the development of this online selling system for their clips.

Australian Wool Innovation commissioned the report in December 2014 to improve the returns to growers though decreasing sale costs.

AWI chief executive Stuart McCullough said the review was “the most significant examination of the wool selling system since the digital age”. Issues raised in the review could be solved with an online wool exchange portal, he said.

Some wool organisations in Australia have expressed concern that this new portal could undermine the existing auction system.

Analyst Andrew Woods, from Independent Commodity Services, said wool was a physical commodity and buyers needed to be able to touch and feel it. While he welcomed a review, he said any change to the selling process would be premature.

He wants to see proof of commercial gains before the implementation of a wool exchange portal. “Because of the the heterogeneous nature of wool, the buyers need to look at the sample and they use that, along with objective tests, to make an assessment of whether the wool suits them and what price they should pay,” Mr Woods said.

“For us to change the selling system, we’d be getting rid of the sample and we need to be able to replace that with some form of assessment that the buying side and the selling side have full confidence in.

“At this stage, we’re a long way from that.”

AWI will talk to shareholders about the review’s recommendations at the next meeting.

Source: AWI

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