Wool Trade

Wool growers seek federal help on short-term loan repayments

Sheep Central, February 28, 2020

WOOL producers have sought the help of Minister for Agriculture David Littleproud to negotiate with brokers for leniency on short-term loan repayments while auctions are halted.

NSW Farmers today called on wool brokers and pastoral houses to support growers, show leniency on short-term loan repayments and extend the interest-free period while they are unable to sell wool.

WoolProducers Australia chief executive officer Jo Hall said the peak grower body shared the concerns of the NSW Farmers Association and had already briefed Mr Littleproud and his department on the issue.

Ms Hall said the cyber attack on wool industry software provider Talman has been discussed at length in this morning’s WPA board meeting.

“We are progressing this issue at a federal level.”

NSW Farmers said it will be writing to Mr Littleproud to alert him to the issue and ask for assistance in brokering an outcome for growers.

NSW Farmers Wool Committee chair Andrew Wood said the cancellation of auctions has left some wool growers at risk of not meeting their short-term loan repayments.

“We are concerned that the shut down in sales could delay a grower’s ability to meet their repayments.

“Growers cash reserves are low, having endured years of drought and the associated high feed costs,” Mr Wood said.

“Some growers have needed to access short term interest free finance to cover shearing costs until their wool cheque comes through.

“They had budgeted to make the repayments on these short term loans during the interest-free period,” he said.

“However, the auction shut-down means they will not be getting paid next week and may not be able to clear these loans in the interest free period.

“We have heard that some growers might be hit with interest rate charges as high as 18 percent,” Mr Wood said.

“Growers have no time to find alternative finance and they cannot endure these extra costs.

“The auction shut down could not have been anticipated by growers,” he said.

“It is not appropriate that they should have to endure extra charges.

“We need a common sense and compassionate approach from the brokers and pastoral houses.”


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