Raymond snaps up world’s finest wool at record price

June 26th, 2008 - 8:00 pm ICT by IANS  

Sydney, June 26 (IANS) India’s worsted suiting company Raymond Ltd bought the world’s finest wool bale at a record price of A$247,480 ($237,475 or about Rs.10 million) at an auction here Thursday. The bale, branded Ausfineultra, tested at 11.6 microns - almost 10 times finer than a human hair - and has been developed by wool producer Hillcreston Pinehill Partnership in New South Wales (NSW).

There was strong interest and bidding from ultra-fine wool buyers and processors in Asia and Europe, before Raymond purchased the bale at 269,000 cents per kilogramme.

Raymond, with over 60 percent market share in worsted fabric in India, is today the largest integrated manufacturer in the world.

“Raymond has always recognised the unique role played by the Australian sheep farming community in producing the world’s finest wool over the years,” Stuart Greenshields, wool buyer representing Raymond, was quoted as saying by a newspaper here.

“The purchase of this 11.6 micron bale places Raymond as a world leader with the capability of producing the world’s finest worsted wool fabric. We are very impressed with the high quality of the Hillcreston Pinehill wool.”

The breeding programme to produce this ultra-fine wool is a family affair. The sheep are raised at Bigga and housed near Temora in NSW, Hillcreston spokesperson Murray Picker told reporters.

The record-breaking bale is the finest to ever receive 1PP accreditation, which means it is the ultimate wool type, signifying evenness of style, character and handle.

Hillcreston was accredited with 11 1PP wool types for the 2006-07 wool-selling season.

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