You are here
Since taking over our family farm I have been using Jemalong wool exclusively to market our annual woolclip. Using a combination of the traditional auction system and the internet based Wool Trade™ we have been able to take advantage of any upward movements of wool prices. This is due to personalised attention to detail and flexibility due mainly to Jemalong understanding our needs as a business.
After 23 years of working on and managing international agricultural and rural development projects, my wife, two sons and I bought 3500 acres on the southern Monaro which included the original block bought by my great, great-grandfather in 1884. I continue my professional work based in Melbourne.
Having graduated in agricultural science from Sydney University and specialising in animal husbandry, with a fascination for the application of computers in agriculture, I was quickly frustrated when I realised the lack of "electronic" progress that had occurred in the wool industry since I left the farm after completing university.
In terms of the wool component of the system, our strategic plan identified that we needed to focus on wool marketing and genetics. It was decided to use electronic systems wherever possible to maximise production and economic gains over the shortest period. To implement the strategic plan we reviewed electronic and contract wool-selling systems. My research suggested that we should use a system that was closely linked to and reflected the physical auction system. My research led me to believe that using forward contracts delivered lower gross returns on average over the long-term.
This left me to evaluate the electronic systems and resulted in a decision to use Jemalong Wool and Wooltrade for two reasons i) Wooltrade most closely reflects the auction system and ii) importantly allows me to set or change the reserve price at anytime anywhere in the world as long as I can access the internet. I can control the sale of the clip from my office in Melbourne or from the farm. On two occasions, I have controlled the sale of wool from Malawi and the Philippines.
Getting started on the system was very simple and easy. Within five minutes of receiving my user ID and password from Jemalong Wool, I was operating on the Jemalong Website and Wooltrade. If you can turn on a computer, know how to access the Internet and have the capacity to type up to 16 characters, you can use the Jemalong website to access Wooltrade. If you cannot do that, your Jemalong representative can do it for you.
In 2003 I experimented with Wooltrade and using a specific marketing strategy was able to obtain average prices 3% above similar type wool sold in the non-electronic auction system. I thought this was a spectacular success. On one occasion when tracking the market and not actively selling, we received a 10 percent premium for one lot of wool that a buyer needed to fill a shipment - sometimes you get lucky. However, the important thing was it was there in the market, 24/7, ready to sell. In fact, the sale took place at two o'clock in the morning.
In 2004 I used a highly focused approach to manage the marketing of the clip from the shed to the cheque account. With the full support of the local Jemalong Wool representatives and field staff at Cooma, we put in place a program to maximise our returns. Transport, sampling, testing and reserve price setting were all coordinated to minimise the time from the completion of shearing to the time the wool was placed for sale on Wooltrade. In a superb effort by Jemalong Wool, 22 working hours elapsed from the completion of shearing, through sampling and testing of all lots and setting of reserve prices, to the time the wool was placed on the electronic market. Using a simple mathematical approach, we linked our clean price reserves to the Euro and US dollar, then using the AWEX daily point of micron and early market reports we caught every major jump in the market when the wool sold from April through June. Analysis of our returns per kilogram showed that we achieved on average a 5% return above the auction price of the day.
What appeals to me about Wooltrade is that it is simple, it compliments the auction system, is a viable and from my experience, a superior alternative to other electronic, physical and contract wool selling systems, but most of all it puts me in control and "face-to-face" with the buyer.
So pencil in the diary two months before shearing this year, "Talk to the Jemalong rep". HEED THEIR ADVICE!!!. They know how to instruct you so that you get the maximum out of the system and, more importantly, out of your wool. If you want to talk with me, ask Jemalong for our phone number.
The Advantage of Jemalong Wool, their Website, and Wooltrade
“We’ve been using Jemalong Wool to market our clip for over ten years and have always been pleased with the level of innovation they offer. Now with the Jemalong Wool website we have so much more accessibility to our data. We are able to check our test results on line as soon as they are picked up form AWTA and then compare quickly and easily with past years results. Once the test results for our clip are received into the Jemalong system, we can not only view them, but our wool is being valued as per the latest market information. All this information gives us the ability to establish what we want for our wool, and then list it on Wooltrade immediately, rather than have to wait for the next auction sale. It is possible for us to have our wool on the market within the same week as it left the farm and with the market so unpredictable and volatile, it is comforting to know we have a very short lead time. We find it particularly useful to be able to change our reserves on line without necessarily having to ask someone at the Jemalong office to do it. We adjust our own reserves and know that we are in control of marketing our wool. You get quite a buzz when you sell a lot on Wooltrade on a Sunday afternoon to a buyer operating overseas, and then the market weakens the following week.
The Jemalong site has all the information we need to market our wool objectively. Our estimates are constantly being updated, we can check on any bale in the clip at any time, access market reports, check our selling costs and charges, and place wool on the market if we wish. We know the Jemalong staff are monitoring our every move, and we like being able to do all these things from our own home office out of general business hours, even though we know the Jemalong team are only a phone call away.”
In 2001 Jemalong Wool became my new wool broker. The change to Jemalong was due to their ability to offer the Wooltrade system, enabling us world wide market exposure 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. With technical support from Rowan Woods and his staff, we have continued to utilise Jemalong and Wooltrade with great success. Some brokers have only recently offered Wooltrade to their clients, while Jemalong has been promoting the advantages of the system for over 6 years. Jemalongs’ superior computer software allows us immediate access to our wool in their system, which gives us the flexibility to capture any upward price movements in the market as they arise. Jemalong Wool brings the marketing of our wool out of the dark ages and into the 21st century.
“The beauty of the Jemalong Wool website is just how simple it is to use. We can constantly monitor what our clip is worth, and if we wish, can make wool available over the internet immediately. With the volatility in the market today, we find we need to continually monitor our position, not unlike the share market, if we are to maximise our return. With the continual support from our Jemalong representative, we have been able to utilise both the auction market and Wooltrade to sell our wool at the price levels we had budgeted for.”
“In todays farming it is all about communication, service and efficiency - whether it be from your bank manager, livestock agent, agronomist, or woolbroker - we need up-to-date market information and advice to help us make the best decisions for our operation. Jemalong Wool has done this for us for close to 30 years, and are a vital part of our business.”