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Mecardo Blog

How do wool minimum price contracts work?

Posted by Matt Dalgleish on 17 October 2018

Markets can be volatile, however there are a number of tools which are available to reduce the risk of adverse price movements. 

There are two predominant strategies to reduce the effect of price volatility when selling wool. These are by using a forward contract or using a minimum price contract (MPC). In this article we examine the MPC, and how it can be used by producers.

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Topics: Australian wool industry, Wool market / wool price, Risk management

Agriculture in the age of outrage

Posted by Andrew Whitelaw on 17 October 2018

We inhabit a world of outrage, which has only been amplified by the ability to generate considerable 'noise' on social media. It can seem like agriculture is under constant threat from campaigners with various outrages or causes. 

In this opinion piece we look at the data on public (not activist) interest in several controversial agricultural topics and we will provide some ideas on how we should use the fickle nature of public opinion.

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Topics: Agriculture, activists, Australian cattle industry, Australian wool industry

Are you sure the wool market can only go up?

Posted by Robert Herrmann on 11 July 2018

The wool market has finally shaken off the disappointing prices of the 1990’s and early 2000’s to currently sit at levels many wool producers have longed for.

As in the past when markets surge, the underpinning fundamentals for the strong market support a positive outlook into the future.

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Topics: Australian wool industry, Wool market / wool price

Has the wool game changed?

Posted by Robert Herrmann on 8 December 2017

As Charles Massy explains, from the 1840s wool was the backbone of the national economy. Indeed, in the mid-20th century, Australia boasted the greatest wool industry the world had seen.

 

In this article, we ask, has the wool game changed?

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Topics: Australian wool industry, Wool market / wool price

Let's make merino great again

Posted by Robert Herrmann on 25 January 2017

There are times when you just have to stand up; “it’s now or never”. Coaches espouse the need to win the crucial 3rd quarter, the “break” point in a tennis game, or bowl the “dot” ball at a crucial time of a cricket match. “Sometimes there is no next time, no time-outs, no second chances. Sometimes it’s now or never." The playwright Alan Bennet probably wasn’t talking about the wool industry, but he could have been.

Prices are great but the industry is in decline, how do we learn from other industries to save Merino in Australia. How do we make merino great again?

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Topics: Wool industry, Australian wool industry, merino

How to deal with animal activists: A lesson from the egg industry

Posted by Robert Herrmann on 20 April 2016

The egg industry is a good example in how to deal with Animal Activists, and perhaps it can provide some ideas for the Australian wool industry around how to respond to the mulesing debate.

The production of cage eggs and the subject of mulesing have been easy targets for the radical activists, however the end result to each industry is starkly different.

When producers are asked, both industries are adamant that their practices (cages and mulesing) are not only humane, but actually improve the welfare of the bird/sheep.

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Topics: Wool industry, Australian wool industry, animal rights

Where will the wool industry be in 25 years?

Posted by Robert Herrmann on 7 October 2015

Undoubtedly, my career is almost entirely connected one way or the other to the Australian wool industry. However, it’s a sad indictment that, over this time, it has steadily declined in production.

From a peak in the late 1980s of 175 million sheep to the current flock size of 70 million (figure 1), it is hard not to arrive at the conclusion that this decline resembles a disaster for the wool industry. The bottom line is that farmers have ‘voted with their sheep’ to exit wool production and get into the business of growing food – be that grains or meat.

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Topics: Flock size, Australian wool industry

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