In a difficult season for sheep farmers, the wool market has remained positive with consistent prices, with this expected to continue into 2024.
Quality Wool managing director Mark Dyson said the wool market had shown good progress, in comparison with some of the other commodities.
"It's been a very stable commodity, while some people might say it's a byproduct of the Merino or red meat protein animal," he said.
"We've certainly had stable prices and we haven't seen the drops like we've seen in the lamb, mutton industry."
As the Christmas break in the market fast approaches, the demand for wool has remained high, while there is still a fair weight of stock in China for carding types of wool.
"That market remains the sellers favourite to an unchanged situation," he said.
"I think we've been very balanced with supply and demand and that's been a good thing in the wool market."
The 19 to 21 micron fleeces have been the most stable and has been a good micron length for the Chinese market.
"It's good to see the finer wools from 19M and finer start to regain some of the loss from recent times," he said.
"Skirting wool has also been very good, with once again limited supply.
"The main push has been on easy processing wools carrying low vegetable matter and high tensile strength and we've seen some good money paid in the market place."
Mr Dyson said he did not expect much change in the wool market heading into the Christmas break.
"If these unchanged markets remain firm with some well sort after types within that, I think we'll have a very good solid market," he said.
"I have a very positive outlook for both Merino and crossbred wool types."
Trevor James said him and his family members from Coolawang Pastoral Co, Mundulla, had found the 2022 spring season had helped them produce positive wool results.
"Generally our wool cuts have been good, because we've had a good growing season," he said.
"We had a good spring last year so we had a good early start and plenty of feed and our wool cuts have been pretty reasonable.
"Considering the meat returns for our sheep are less than last year, it's corrected the income for us."
Mr James said they targeted 20M wool while maintaining the frame and structure in their breeding ewes.
"The positive part about the wool market is that it hasn't followed the livestock prices and it's maintained the level that it has been at for the last year," he said.
"That gives us some optimism that we can balance our income with that and hopefully it's not too long before the meat trade and stock prices improve."
Australian Wool Network SA manager Rod Miller said the wool market had held up, given the state of the world.
"With the war's that are running and the knock on effects through oil and energy prices and high inflation environments affecting energy consumers ability to spend around the world," he said.
The crossbred and Merino wool had held up well consistently this season, aided by a low Australian dollar, he said.
"The market's held a level, but it's supported by a lower Australian dollar to the United States dollar," he said.
"It's a bit of a sign of weak demand when the market just holds up generally when the dollar is historically low."
There are particular qualities of the wool that have played a part in the positive performance of the SA wool market.
"Good measuring wools always sell extremely well and outsell the market," he said.
"If someone is within an ethical brand program that is underpinned by responsible wool standards, these wools will stand out even more and draw significant premiums."
There are a variety of wool types across SA and the biggest improvers in the wool market have been the high pastoral areas, Mr Miller said.
"The big improvement has come from the better seasons in the pastoral areas, which has enabled them to run more sheep and grow better wool," he said.
"In the pastoral areas the farmers that have been able to get wool classers and marketing support to remove the high VM out of the main lines have done significantly better than other growers that don't take that extra step.
"Areas like Kangaroo Island and the lower South East are always powerhouses of wool production and they always do a good job no matter the season."
While there has been a feeling of optimism regarding the SA wool market heading into 2024, there were factors that could significantly influence the prices.
"I do have a degree of optimism for the new year, but the world's a turbulent place and some of the large macro economic and political factors mean things can change quickly," Mr Miller said.
"The Chinese government's stimulus package is giving positive help to manufacturing and exports, so that's where my hope lies."
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