Wool Trade

Australia plans to resume wool sales later this week

Terry Sim March 2, 2020

WOOL sales have been scheduled for Wednesday and Thursday in Australia this week as the auction sector works to recover from the cyber attack on the Talman software system.

The Australian Wool Exchange’s National Auction Selling Committee will meet next at 10am tomorrow to make a final decision and until then is monitoring the situation.

An estimated $69 million worth of wool was unable to be sold last week, after the Sydney-based software company Talman suffered a ransomware cyber attack that shut down the nation’s selling and shipment system. About 44,000 bales were scheduled to be sold nationally last week, with an estimated value of $1581/bale at recent prices.

The attack last Tuesday shut down Talman’s OZDE EDI and NZDE EDI networks which are crucial to the exchange of ownership of wool within the Australian and New Zealand industry. Talman’s Application Service Provider (ASP) hosting service was also crippled. It is used by most buyers and some brokers. Talman has been working to create a new IT infrastructure for its back-up data to renew industry services.

Users getting back on the Talman system – AWEX

Secretary of AWEX’s NAS Committee David Cother said AWEX was looking to hold two-day sales in Fremantle, Sydney and Melbourne on Wednesday and Thursday.

“Users are getting back onto the Talman system, which is good, there is an EDI network available, but there is some configuration required for companies to use that.

“The positives we have are that the user clients on Talman should all be on by about midday today and we are hoping that we are on track for a Wednesday-Thursday sale in all regions,” Mr Cother said.

Mr Cother said Melbourne was to sell over three days this week, but this was changed to two days to give brokers and buyers enough preparation time.

The NAS committee was told by a Talman representative this morning that ASP clients are being bought online progressively as servers are finalised. Up to this morning, most brokers and buyers were online, but not all. Talman estimated all would have access by noon today.

The Talman representative told the NAS Committee its OZDE servers are currently under image capture. This is required to be completed prior to restoration of services, but a recovery time was not provided.

In the morning update, Mr Cother said the Australian Wool Testing Authority’s electronic mailbox or electronic data exchange (EDI) system is available for transmission of catalogues, delivery orders and invoices.

In the update Mr Cother reiterated the industry that the Melbourne sales this week (Week 36) will be subject to maximum lot Allocation (MLA) restrictions.

“The room limits have been increased slightly to 1399 lots (average) to assist in moving wool and reduce pressure on M37.”

He said based on figures supplied on Friday, M37 is likely to be oversubscribed.

“The revised M36 two-day selling arrangement will be issued under separate cover. S36 and F36 will remain as rostered.”

National Council of Wool Selling Brokers of Australia executive director Chris Wilcox said the plan was to have sales on Wednesday or Thursday.

He said the maximum lot allocation room limits in Melbourne have been increased to allow a greater volume of wool to be sold this week.

“There are buyers out on the show floor now, valuing catalogues and so on, some of them using hard copy and some using hand-helds.”


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