Newcastle wool sales end on a high 

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ANGUS Fletcher is the sixth generation of a Walcha wool family who travelled to Newcastle about 70 years ago to sell their super-fine clip at the city’s inaugural wool sales.

So naturally the toothy seven-month-old was on hand yesterday, with parents Jock and Trina and grandfather Warwick, to witness another significant  event  as the final three-day wool sale in the city’s history got under way. 

‘‘It’s a bit sad but you can’t defy gravity forever,’’ said Warwick Fletcher of the commercial decision by Australian Wool Handlers  to shift the four annual Newcastle sales to Sydney amid plummeting wool volumes and prices.

Australian Wool Network yesterday put about 3600 bales up for auction and managing director John Colley described the mood of growers attending the company’s pre-auction dinner on Monday as ‘‘very sombre’’.

Despite the spectre of the final sale tomorrow, growers and buyers appeared relatively satisfied by the first sale results yesterday.

Mr Fletcher, who runs his property Cairnie  with sons Jock and Ross, said the family’s shorter wools had sold well, averaging about 1200¢ a kilogram, a fraction above  valuation.

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