"When you're an Australian farmer, you're on the world stage."
That's the sage advice of Nhill prime lamb and wool producer Andrew Colbert as he reflects on the worst drop in prices since the global financial crisis.
The coronavirus has forced disruptions to International supply chains, and in turn, a dramatic dip in fashion retail sales, meaning wool prices have dropped by more than 30 percent.
"I auctioned my last lot of wool about three months ago," he said.
"It paid about a third less than it normally would, and it was the better-scored merino wool.
"A one-third drop on 1200 cents a kilogram is a big hit."
On June 25, the Eastern Market Indicator closed at 1100c/kg, down by 605 cents (35.5%) a year earlier.
"Wool and lamb are like any other non-essential commodity, such as crayfish, duck," he said.
"We deal in first-cross merino ewes and second cross lambs - we're prime lamb first - and prime lamb has also dropped 25% in recent months."
Prime lamb (30kg+) closed at 684.8c/kg crashing down 31% from prices just 12 months earlier (985.9c/kg).
Mr Colbert said he didn't see COVID-19 impacting on prime lamb or wool markets as much as it did.
"Australian sheep numbers are at 100-year lows, so we thought the market would still be good.
"It's simple supply and demand; we should have kept those numbers up.
"But 70% of sheep raised in Australia goes overseas, and we are price takers, not price makers."
He said the prime lamb market also took a massive hit in 2008, during the Global Financial Crisis.
"We're no stranger to dramatic price drops," he said.
"When you're an Australian farmer, you're on the world stage.
"There are a thousand factors that contribute to the prices we see.
"A government on the other side of the world can make a decision that will impact wool prices in Victoria.
"Grain, wool, lamb - they have all copped a whack. We roll with the punches."