Australia’s average wool cut and production to increase

Sheep Central, April 28, 2023

Exclusion fencing has enable Rawlinna Station in Western Australia to do its part in increasing the nation’s wool production. Image – Jimmy Wood.

AUSTRALIA’S wool production forecast for 2022-23 has been revised up by 1.3 percent on 2021-22 to 328 million greasy kilograms on the back of favourable seasonable conditions.

The Australian Wool Production Forecasting Committee said most key wool producing regions experienced a favourable Summer season, a reasonable Autumn and are heading into Winter with a sufficient supply of feed.

The committee’s first forecast of shorn wool production for the 2023-24 season is 332 Mkg greasy, a 1.4pc increase on the current season. Sheep numbers are expected to remain relatively stable at 72.7 million, up 1.7pc.

AWPFC chairman Stephen Hill said the average cut per head is expected to increase 2.2pc to 4.59 kg greasy as a result of historically high levels in most states due the current run of three good seasons.

Most Australian Wool Testing Authority key test data (Table 3) up to the end of March 2023 are very similar to the same time last season, the committee said.

“Shorn sheep numbers are expected to be 71.5 million head (down 0.1pc), due to reduced sheep meat prices and a forecast El Niño in Spring,” Mr Hill said.

“New South Wales continues to have the largest sheep flock with an expected 25.9 million sheep shorn resulting in a shorn wool production of 119 Mkg greasy.

“Victoria is expected to shear 16.1 million sheep and produce 70 Mkg greasy,” ee said.

AWTA wool test volumes to the end of March 2023 were up by 2.5pc on a year-on-year basis. First-hand offered wool at auction to the end of March 2023 (week 40) was on par with the same time period in 2022, up by 0.7pc.

The AWPFC’s first forecast of shorn wool production for the 2023/24 season is 332 Mkg greasy, a 1.4pc increase on the 2022-23 forecast as a result of modest increases in the number of sheep shorn (up 1.7pc). The Committee expects the average cut per head to remain at 4.58 kg greasy which is at an historically high level – in the 87th percentile.

The AWPFC also this week recognised the outstanding contribution of Dr Peter Morgan who will be retiring on 30th June following 60 years work in the sheep and wool industry and 30 years on the national committee; first representing the Australian Wool Testing Authority and then the Australian Council of Wool Exporters & Processors and the Private Treaty Wool Merchants of Australia.

Mr Ian Ashman will also retire from the AWPFC following the April meeting. His valued contribution over more than 23 years representing AWTA is recognised, the committee said.

The AWPFC drew on advice from the six state committees, each of which includes growers, brokers, private treaty merchants, sheep pregnancy scanners, representatives from State Departments of Agriculture and the Australian Wool Testing Authority. Data and input were also drawn from the Australian Wool Exchange, wool exporters, the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Sciences, and Meat & Livestock Australia.

The state and national Committees will next meet in mid-August 2023. The full forecast report will be available on the AWI website at from 12th May 2023.

Source – AWI.


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