The Australian Wool Production Forecasting Committee (AWPFC) announced a 5 million kilogram (mkg) drop to 345mkg in the forecasted Australian wool production for 2012-2013. This came alongside the statement the 2011-2012 production was also down 3mkg from its 345mkg estimate.
The revision was largely based on lower final sheep numbers as reported by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).
The AWPFC made the decision after taking into consideration the ABS's final estimate of opening sheep numbers for 2011-2012 of 73.1 million sheep, down from its earlier provisional estimate of 74.3 million. The revised production forecasts also took account of the lower year-on-year testing during 2011-2012 by the Australian Wool Testing Authority, lower wool receivals in the last three months of the 2011-2012 season and input from state committees.
AWPFC Chairman Russell Pattinson says sheep numbers are expected to increase in 2012-2013, but total wool production will increase marginally by 1 percent due to slightly reduced average greasy fleece weights nationally.
"Surveys continue to indicate that producers are keen on growing or maintaining their flock sizes and this is reflected in increased sheep numbers in 2012-2013 compared to 2011-2012, but the information coming through shows the rebuilding process continues to be slow."
Reprinted in part from Australian Wool Testing Authority Ltd.