GOING STRONG: Elders northern wool manager and Southern Downs local Bruce McLeish says Southern Downs wool is well regarded overseas.
GOING STRONG: Elders northern wool manager and Southern Downs local Bruce McLeish says Southern Downs wool is well regarded overseas. Elyse Wurm

Wool exports looking fine

SOUTHERN Downs wool producers are enjoying high prices for wool not seen in decades.

Elders northern wool manager and Southern Downs local Bruce McLeish said there was a strong demand for Australian wool overseas, with prices rising to a top not seen since the mid-'80s.

"Growers are receiving returns they haven't seen for many, many years, except for the ultra-fine market,” he said.

The Nanjing Wool Market annual conference was held last week in China, the premier gathering of the wool trade.

Discussion at the conference was positive regarding the price rise, as it has been more gradual and therefore seen as more sustainable.

Mr McLeish said 82% of Australian raw wool is exported to China, with 60% consumed in China and the balance is processed and sent internationally.

Wool from our shores also accounts for 70% of apparel wool in the world.

The south-eastern corner of Queensland, including locations such as Warwick, Stanthorpe, Texas, Inglewood and Karara reportedly have a particularly strong reputation overseas.

Mr McLeish said a large proportion of the area was traprock country, which produces clean, sound wool with a high yield.

"One of the biggest things is that it is a very natural fibre, it's grown in pastoral areas and areas where there are no chemicals or pesticides or influence from other factors,” Mr McLeish said.

Mr McLeish said ensuring Southern Downs producers remain in a strong position would depend on support from both the federal and state governments to help combat wild dogs through installation of exclusion fencing.



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