TALENT among Australia’s wool export companies are hotting up with new kids on the block, Endeavour Wool, climbing to be one of the country’s largest exporter in just three months of operating.
Headed up by former Techwool trading manager Josh Lamb, Endeavour Wool has entered all three selling centres in Sydney, Melbourne and Freemantle, buying more than 20,000 bales to feed the “insatiable” demand of the Chinese market.
Since launching in September, the Australian-owned company has climbed to 11th largest wool exporter out of 46 registered in the country, riding on its dominance in auction room two where it is ranked fourth largest buyer.
Mr Lamb said the aim would be to finish the year in the “middle of the pack”, after aligning themselves to six key clients in China to guarantee business.
“We are moving away from the more traditional business structure of the last 20 years, which is volume based, and instead building a targeted client base that is reliable and mutually beneficial,” he said.
“China wants to get away from the uncertainty of sourcing their requirements every week, so we’re building those relationship to guarantee their supply and our business.”
“We want the best reputation for service and quality, and to be the most efficient and profitable company – where we sit on the national buyers list doesn’t matter. It is about building something that will be around for the next 20 to 30 years.”
He said while banks had supported financing in recent years by looking at agriculture to diversify, the extraordinary increases in wool prices had impacted Endeavour Wool’s export capabilities.
Currently, Mr Lamb said they are scrambling to service the active-wear and knitwear demand.
“You only need to look a the carding indicator to see the growth of that market - that growth is here to stay,” he said.
Last week the national Merino Carding Indicator peaked 1403 cents a kilogram, a rise of 21 per cent on year-ago highs.
The MCI has jumped nearly 9pc on last year’s average prices, rising from 1091c/kg av to 1188c/kg av.
“Ten years ago, to get financing was almost impossible, it was a huge challenge for agricultural businesses,” Mr Lamb said.
“We now have serious challenges with finance because when we started doing the numbers it was about $1500 a bale, now we are talking more than $2000 which obviously means quantity is reduced.”
The four-strong team includes Stuart Greenshields in NSW and Warwick Eddington, Cameron Stevens and Mr Lamb in Melbourne.
“The staff base is built on specific skills and youth which we think will be significant in the coming years,” he said.
At the moment, Endeavour Wools focus is on forward selling to China due to the country’s payment efficiencies, which includes letter of credit at time of shipment, rather than the lag of European and Indian payments that can be from two to six months.