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Australian Landmark exits wool exporting business
May '13
It is now widely known, the integration of Australian Viterra AgriProducts and Wool businesses into Landmark has been completed; and that Landmark has made the decision to exit the wool exporting business. This means the closure of Landmark’s own Dalgety Wool Exports operations, and of Viterra Wool Exports.

The Australian Council of Wool Exporters and Processors and its Members acknowledge that this is a commercial decision.

However, it is necessary to comment on subsequent statements in the media that “other exporters would be rubbing their hand with glee and would be rejoicing with their closures”. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Such comments show little understanding of how the wool export industry works and of the importance of maximising competition in the sale room for all in the wool industry (including exporters).

Wool exporters are very competitive by nature.. But, they also recognize the benefits that strong competition brings to the market, to growers, to other exporters and to the various service industries.

Every additional wool exporter benefits the market in a number of ways, but in particular, each adds a level of competition and brings another source of finance to the wool market.

The Australian wool industry is a $2.5 to $3 billion export industry that is financed by wool exporters, each of whom has to raise the funds to finance their businesses and carry the associated risks. The loss of any one exporter means the loss of that source of finance. In this case, it involves the loss of the finance that the largest wool exporter (Viterra) brought to the industry.

Ultimately, existing or new entrants will take over the lost financing role, but not without some cost to the industry.

It would have been much better if the remarks attributed to Mr Norton reflected on these valuable roles played by wool exporters.

Australian Council of Wool Exporters and Processors

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Courtesy: Commonwealth Bank of Australia

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