September 19, 2003
The Australian Wool Innovation Wool Production Forecasting Committee met in Melbourne late last week to review wool production estimates for 2002/2003, as well as amend its forecast for the 2003/2004 season.
The 2002/2003 production estimate of 490 mkg greasy is unchanged from the previous forecast in June 2003 and is based on sheep numbers of 106 million head as of July 2002.
Wool production is forecast to decline by 10 percent to 440 mkg greasy during the 2003/2004 season. Lower than expected sheep numbers, the on-going impact of drought in New South Wales (NSW) and Queensland and high sheep and lamb prices have attributed to this downward projection of wool production in Australia next season.
On a state-by-state basis, the sharpest falls in shorn
wool production for the 2003/2004 season are again expected to be in NSW and Queensland. While there have been some good rains in NSW, 76 percent remains drought declared. Wool production will depend on weather conditions over the next four to six weeks, with widespread rains needed.
Staff contact: Rita Kourlis Samuelson, ext. 29