June 27, 2003
The Australian Broadcasting Corp. reported that Australia?s wool clip next season is predicted to be the lowest ever recorded.
Figures from the Wool Production Forecasting Committee, which represents growers, industry bodies and processors, indicated the clip is likely to fall to 470 million kilos this year -- down from a billion kilos in the 1990?s. It is believed the drop can largely be attributed to the drought and price fluctuations.
Furthermore, it is feared that this drop in overall wool production will, in turn, lead to a decline in the quality of the product.
Dale Park from the Western Australia Farmers Federation says the price fluctuations may mean that many sheep producers will turn to the meat market instead of the wool market. This move would increase the focus placed on meat quality while reducing the amount of attention paid to the development of fine wools.
According to American Sheep Industry wool consultant, Bob Padula, ?Lack of attention to the development of fine wools in Australia could have an impact on U.S. wool markets by causing an increased supply of mid-micron wools typically grown in the U.S. Prices are currently holding for these wools because of the reduced supply, but could be affected if the supply goes up.?