Australian wool production expected to continue to fall

Sheep Central, April 15, 2024

AUSTRALIA’S raw wool output is forecast to fall this year to 324 million kilograms, with shorn production expected to drop in all states except New South Wales and South Australia.

And the Australian Wool Production Forecasting Committee’s first forecast of shorn wool production for the 2024/25 season is 306 Mkg greasy, a 5.8 percent decrease on the 2023/24 forecast.

The latest Australian Wool Production Forecasting Committee’s 2023/24 forecast is 1 percent lower than its 2022/23 season estimate.

The committee today said the number of sheep shorn is forecast at 71.6 million head, up 0.1pc due to held over lambs.

Shorn wool production is expected to increase in New South Wales by 2.7pc and in South Australia by 3.4pc, but decrease in all other states.

Average cut per head is forecast to reduce to 4.53 kg greasy — down 2.2pc – due to dry seasonal conditions since the December forecast.

Committee c hairman, Stephen Hill said the revised April forecast reflects the varied seasonal conditions across the key wool growing regions of Australia and the impact on numbers of sheep shorn and average cut per head. Held over lambs and older breeding ewes remain in the flock as sheep meat prices stay relatively low.

“The number of sheep shorn during 2023/24 is expected to remain at 71.6 million near the 2022/23 season level,” he said.

“New South Wales is forecast to shear 26.6 million head this season (up 2.7pc) despite the varied seasonal conditions across the state as the key wool producing regions in the central west and southeast have had a reasonable season to date with recent welcome widespread rain.

“The number of sheep shorn is expected to increase in South Australia due to favourable seasonal conditions in the pastoral regions but will remain either steady or decrease in other states,” Mr Hill said.

AWTA key test data for the season to date show no change in mean fibre diameter (20.8 microns) or vegetable matter (2.2pc), a 2.1 mm decrease in staple length to 87.5 mm and a 0.6% reduction in yield to 65.8%.

AWTA wool test volumes to the end of March 2024 were down by 2.9pc on a year-on-year basis. First-hand offered wool at auction to the end of March 2024 (week 39) was up 1.4pc compared with the same period in 2022/23.

Source – AWI.


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  1. Brendan Mahoney, April 15, 2024

    The EU is the biggest live sheep exporter in the world at 2.6 million head/year. Romania is second biggest live sheep exporter in the world at 2.5 million sheep.
    Where do they sell their wool? Is there a market out there AWI doesn’t know about? Probably 14!

    • Michael Avery, April 16, 2024

      If there were significant new undiscovered markets out there be assured that the dozens of Australian wool exporters would have been on their doorstep.

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