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ALPACA BREEDERS NEED A MASTER MARKETING PLAN IF THEY WANT TO COMMAND CONSISTANTLY HIGH PRICES FOR THIS FIBRE OF THE GODS

ALPACA is said to be the fibre of the gods, but Australia’s alpaca fleece market is yet to reach stellar heights.

South Australian Alpaca breeders pic below compliments of country life news

A new concept Premium Alpaca is hoping to change all that, aiming to increase international demand for the luxury fibre.

The aim of a large consortium of growers across Australia is to develop a commercially viable market for alpaca fleece by producing consistent, sizeable consignments of high quality fibre.

Many alpaca owners produce only a few kilograms of fleece each year and usually give it away to home spinners, or it sits in their sheds. But Premium Alpaca is marketing the fleece in bales of about 100 kilograms.

The first Premium Alpaca bales were offered at auction in mid-December at Fremantle in Western Australia.

All three fleece bales sold were from South Australian breeders and realised about 10 per cent more than the highest advertised price at the time.

They were the only fleece bales to sell in the 21-bale auction, going to Australasian company Alpaca Ultimate.

The finest 20.2-micron bale made $20.35 a kilogram, the 22.2M bale $15.40/kg, and the 23.6M bale $12.10/kg.

Premium Alpaca hopes to hold another sale in March.

Its national coordinator Paul Vallely, Crookwell, New South Wales, says it is the first time a concerted effort has been made to build a commercially viable market.

Premium Alpaca is a natural progression from the Ultrafine bale scheme which has produced the world’s finest alpaca bale three times in the past five years.

Alpaca has been used in prestige garments but market analysis during the scheme shows there is a market for “high standard” fibre up to 26M to 28M.

“We found that there was a place for alpaca in the top-shelf range, but the crucial thing from our market analysis was that we have to reduce the variation in fibre diameter within consignments and we need commercial volumes – not 10-20kg,” he said.

“The average alpaca grower has only 10-30 kilograms of fibre, so the industry is highly fragmented with a whole range of colours and fibre diameter – it is useless to market unless it is a uniform consignment of commercial volume.”

January 16th, 2012
Topic: Alpaca, ANIMALS & STOCK, MARKETING PROMOS, PRICES Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

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