Benefits from selling wool via the BWMB
A 34% rise in wool prices and a six-fold uplift in the volume sold to date compared with the same point in the 2012-sales calendar are a clear signal of the benefits sheep farmers gain from selling their wool through the British Wool Marketing Board (BWMB).
Speaking after the latest sale, which saw the indicator price settle at 153p per kilo, up from 114p at the same sale last year, BWMB communications manager Gareth Jones said the increase in price and volume sold was a direct result of competitive bidding by wool buyers.
He told me: "There is no doubt that without the auction system, prices wouldn't have risen to the levels they are at now and clearance rates would also be lower. The competitive element of the auction system is a tried and tested way of delivering the best-possible prices for farmers."
The current sales season may just be six sales old, but Mr Jones was confident better prices and higher demands were here to stay for the remainder of the sales season. "We started to see an uplift in demand at the last few sales of the 2012 selling season and this has continued into the new season," he explained. "As with all commodities there is a big element of supply and demand involved in driving prices too, and a falling global wool supply coupled with a resurgence in demand has helped boost trade."
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And, importantly for BWMB producers, prices seen in the first six sales of the new selling season were ahead of the guide prices BWMB issued ahead of the sales. Many breed types easily exceeding the guide price.
Mr Jones said the UK's 2013 clip was estimated to be about 10% lower than the 2012 clip which would also help stimulate demand and prices.
Lower average fleece weights and a reduced number of sheep being clipped due to heavy losses earlier in the year are the reasons for the 2013 clip being lower than in 2012, he added.