The Relocation of the Market for Australian Wool, 1880-1939
Between the 1880s and 1930s the international wool auction market shifted decisively from Britain to Australia. A series of historical developments altered the efficiency criteria for the existing institutional arrangements, notably the growing international dominance of Australian wool production, the evolution of the small grazier, the geographical diversification of demand, and improved international transport and communications. Central to this market shift was the role of large pastoral agent firms based in Australia who employed their local knowledge, producer contacts, and trade specialisation to reduce costs. Australian graziers benefited from local market signals and quicker sale realisation. Overseas buyers increasingly came from outside Britain, and their contacts with Australia were aided by much improved long distance shipping and telegram communications.
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