Gillian McAinsh email@example.com
THE final sale of the 2012 summer selling season last week saw "exceptional high quality” mohair bales sold at Port Elizabeth's Cape Mohair and Wool (CMW) break records.
The 1000 or so mohair producers within a 300km radius of Nelson Mandela Bay generate half of the world's mohair and CMW is the world's largest mohair broker, with 8.2ha of handling and warehouse facilities in Deal Party.
CMW general manager Pierre van der Vyver said the angora goat kid offering from Billy and Fred Colborne of Willowmore and the seasonal record-breaking Zegna bale of Piet Viljoen of Kleinpoort were highlights of the auction. The record price for this season for the Viljoen bale was R360 per kilogram.
"The Colbornes sold eight bales of super kid for an average price of R308/kg, the highest average ever for eight bales from one clip,” Van der Vyver said.
"The overall competition was good from all buyers. Traditionally, the last sale of the season always contains a lot of poorer quality lots, putting some downward pressure on average prices.”
Van der Vyver said history was made at the previous CMW auction late last month, with the highest sale average for any mohair broker achieved, with a recorded average of R121.18/kg. He said this record average could be attributed to a "very special offering” of a few big EGT-tested, high quality clips.
A world record price for adults was established when two bales of Louw and Frans Retief of Murraysburg were sold respectively for R183/kg (presented as winter young goats) and R170/kg (presented as adults). Both were record prices for their categories.
The finest ever summer kid clip was also offered and sold by Weeber Truter of Oudtshoorn. The nine bales offered tested on average 20.7 micron. The finest bale at 19.6 micron was sold at R266/kg, but all nine bales sold at an average of R256/kg.
By comparison, an average strand of mohair may be around 33 micron. Drought makes the fibres finer, but less plentiful, so the yield is lower but more luxurious – and the price higher.
Mohair is sought after as a luxury fibre for many end products because it takes dye colour better than wool and has a lustrous gloss.
One South African buyer's house, Samil, bought all the bales to be processed in one lot for a client in Bradford, England. The client is an exclusive manufacturer of high quality men's suiting material.
At least 90% of mohair is processed in South Africa, with only a fraction going abroad to be washed and spun.
"The rest of the world looks at the auctions taking place in Port Elizabeth,” Van der Vyver said.
"It is very seldom that you have in one city one industry from start to finish. We have something unique here that we can be proud of.”