Forecast for Australian Wool Production Unchanged in 2016-17
September 2, 2016

The Australian Wool Production Forecasting Committee adjusted its forecast of shorn wool production for the 2016-17 season to 325 million kilograms greasy, the same level as its revised estimate for the 2015-16 season. Shorn wool production of 325 mkg greasy in 2015-16 is 6.1 percent lower than in 2014-15.

A key influence on wool production in 2016-17 will be lower opening sheep numbers. The very dry conditions in the western half of Victoria, southeast South Australia, Tasmania, parts of New South Wales and throughout Queensland for much of 2015-2016 resulted in a continued turn-off of sheep and lambs across much of Australia. While those decisions will mean fewer sheep shorn in these areas in 2016-17, the improved seasonal conditions are expected to see producers retaining more sheep this season.

The committee noted that for the 2015-16 season, Australian Wool Testing Authority test data showed a significant increase in the weight of wool 16.5 micron and finer and no change in the volumes of 17 micron wool. There was a decline in the volumes of wool for all other micron ranges broader than 17 micron and a significant drop in wool volumes between 21.6 and 23.5 microns. The mean fiber diameter for Australia in 2015-16 was 21 microns, the same as in 2014-15.

The full forecast report is available on the AWI website at www.wool.com/forecasts.

Reprinted in part from Australian Wool Innovation Limited