2 May 2014

Wet weather hits wool auctions

8:01 am on 2 May 2014

The run of stormy and extremely wet weather that has taken its toll on crop harvesting in Canterbury, has seriously disrupted the wool trade as well.

wet sheep

Photo: PHOTO NZ

Conditions have been too wet for shearing and that's dried up the supply of wool coming through for the weekly auctions.

The weather combined with the disruption of Easter and Anzac Day, forced the cancellation of Thursday's North Island sale.

And Malcolm Ching, marketing manager for the country's biggest exporter, New Zealand Wool Services International, said it had hit next week's South Island sale as well.

"Next week's Christchurch sale which was rostered for over 10,000 bales has struggled to get half that volume, 5000 bales, and that is purely weather related."

Mr Ching said it was impossible to shear wet wool.

"It causes problems for the shearers and you can't store it in the bales for any length of time, otherwise it will rot and severely wet wool stored under pressure for any length of time can spontaneously combust, so basically the rules are, you can't shear wet wool."