An unexpected high-quality clip season has driven New Zealand wool exporters to frantically find ways to fill orders for lower-grade product. Exporters have been forced to mix higher quality wool with the shorter parts of the fleece, known as oddments in order to meet demand.
"The season overall has been quite a good growing season, so we haven't seen a lot of discoloured wool," said Malcolm Ching, executive, New Zealand Wool Services International.
Currently wool is New Zealand's 14th largest export commodity, with the industry expecting full availability at this time, however a supply-demand imbalance has driven up the price of oddments at the latest auctions. The concern for Ching is that continued delivery of higher-grade wool could set precedent, with clients expecting better quality for a lower price.
Ching said the higher prices will not last, as there has been a rapid increase in the volume of poorer grades of wool coming to auction.