A SPECIALTY SA wool sale held by online platform WoolQ for the first time last week, has helped local growers showcase their product to a global audience and gain solid returns.
About 396 bales were offered through the specialty sale, with a 43 per cent clearance rate achieved.
A broad range of wool types from up to 15 different farms across the state were offered, including the Mid North, pastoral country and Kangaroo Island.
WoolQ chief executive John Roberts said the sale met expectations, despite a dip in the wool market price last week.
Top fleece lines made to 1451 cents a kilogram and wool microns ranged from 16.4M to 22.2M for Merino lines.
Solid buyer activity caused lots to sell with comparable prices from the week's open cry results.
"The sale had the ability to capture wool from a broad spectrum with unique stories to match," Mr Roberts said.
"A shift toward global wool consumers being inspired by wool provenance and traceability means the platform is really showcasing regions and states."
Woolgrowers can divulge bloodlines, wool type or region-specific details to potential buyers to give an extensive background of the wool.
The social media-style platform means the wool auction is not just about the transaction, but the "connectivity", Mr Roberts said.
"I want international brands to be inspired by wool stories and source wool based on those stories," he said.
"We will hold more state-based sales, but selling this way is also open to grower groups and regions wanting to hold a specialty sale."
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KI district wool manager Marty Kay offered wool at the sale on behalf of a few growers and said despite "teething problems", overall the sale was beneficial.
"The biggest positive was being able to sell the KI wool story to a global audience," he said.
"Woolgrowers can put up a heap of different stories about their farm and interact with buyers prior to the auction."
Elders and Michell Wool largely represented SA woolgrowers, with some offering about 40 bales.
Mr Kay said the specialty auction was particularly beneficial for non-mulesed woolgrowers.
"Significantly higher premiums can be gained for that wool type," he said.
"Prices were good last week, but a lot of wool hit the market last week and caused a dip in prices.
"In the future, I would expect this type of sale to perform well in those niche markets."
But Mr Kay said woolgrowers needed to build content to share about their farm, because this was the point of difference compared to other selling platforms.
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A Kangaroo Island producer sold wool through WoolQ's SA specialty sale last week and the results met expectations.
The Atkinson family run a wool-focused operation of 8000 Merino sheep on the Dudley Peninsula, KI, and at Harrogate in the Adelaide Hills.
Chris Atkinson decided to use the platform to "try something new".
"We are really lucky to have such great advancements in the way we sell our product, so to ensure that these leaps are continuously being made, growers need to support them," he said.
"We achieved the desired result in terms of our return - we have used the platform for other things for a few years, but we are still learning about the auction system."
Mr Atkinson runs a 100 per cent non-mulesed wool operation.
"It is a niche market and we are able to share what we are trying to achieve," he said.
"The traceability side of the platform is definitely unique and works in the growers' favour."
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