Wool dumping woes expected to dissipate later this year

Terry Sim, March 20, 2023

A SHORTAGE of wool containerization capacity is expected to be relieved within months with the opening of a new dumping facility in Melbourne.

Australia’s wool industry is currently operating under a lack of capacity to dump and containerize all wool for export quickly due to the closure of facility Winnipeg in October 2022, months before its forecast closure date in May this year.

This has left Australia with only two wool dumpers – Pack-Tainers and the AWH business Wooldumpers Australia in Laverton North – with insufficient capacity to alleviate the 30,000-40,000 bale backlog for containerization during the peak sale season.

There is currently a 3-4 week delay between the time wool is sold and it is able to be dumped or containerized for export. This has put pressure on the finances of some exporters and wool traders who rely on bales being loaded on ships to initiate payments against letters of credit.

Pack-Tainers co-owner Mark Wilson this has put the industry under pressure, but he had a new containerization facility planned in Mr Derrimut Road, Laverton North.

“I’m hoping to have the keys around Easter and hopefully we’ll be receiving wool sometime in April.

“I expect once it actually happens it will turn pretty quick — hopefully by May-June I will be in a position where I’ve caught the capacity up.”

Mr Wilson estimated Winnipeg had about 15-20 percent of the dumping market. He had tried and failed to get industry support for brokers to extend the current one-week Easter auction sale recess to two weeks to allow dumpers to handle the bale backlog.

“This is the peak of the season in any year, we just needed a two-week recess to recess.”

Mr Wilson said with the new facility operating the bale backlog could be handled “comfortably” by the end of the year.

“By the end of the financial year is when I am hoping.

“It’s short-term pain while everyone corrects is how I’m looking at it.”


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