Severe feed shortages in parts of the country mean many ewes are on a nutritional knife-edge heading into lambing and could be at risk of developing metabolic disorders.
New Zealand spinning companies, although relatively small users of wool in this country, are flat out at the moment, says Millton, who is chairman of the Wool Research Organisation of NZ (WRONZ).
The lower dollar is also contributing. Either wool demand is increasing, or the supply is reducing, but all those things together "have given farmers' wool cheques quite a lift," he told Rural News.
"That is quite significant. You can put it down to all those things – supply issues, demand issues and people perhaps wanting to use NZ wool because of its superior production or processing capability.
"Hopefully the NZ wool industry is on a better path. Definitely three years ago it was below the level of production and now we are seeing some profits coming to farmers from wool production.
"After they have shorn their sheep there is a reasonable amount left. It's not substantial but that rise has been pretty useful."
He says the clean wool price is now at least $6/kg whereas two years ago it was $4-$4.50.
"Mid micron wool has been a star performer," Millton says. "It has started to really increase in price and compete with Merino. The apparel trade has boosted that." – Pam Tipa