Flock growth and season prompt higher wool clip forecast

Sheep Central, September 16, 2022

AUSTRALIAN sheep flock growth and good seasonal conditions underpin a forecast increase in wool production to 340 million kilograms for 2022-23.

The Australian Wool Production Forecasting Committee’s second forecast of shorn wool production is 4.9 percent up on 2021-22 production.

The committee said today the continuing La Niña conditions have set up a very positive Spring season in key wool-producing regions.

The number of sheep shorn is expected to increase 4.7pc with the average cut per head maintained at 4.53 kg greasy.

The committee estimates that Australian shorn wool production for 2021-22 was 324 Mkg greasy, a 10pc increase on the 294 Mkg for 2020-21.

Committee chairman, Stephen Hill, said that with good results reported from Autumn lambing flocks and the same expected from those lambing in Spring, the number of sheep shorn is forecast to increase by 4.7pc to 75 million head.

“The continued wet weather is expected to bring some challenges in the months ahead from internal parasites, flies and increased grass seeds and burr.”

Favourable lambing and weaning percentages from 2021-22 have increased the proportion of younger sheep in the flock, which is expected to hold the average cut per head at 4.53 greasy kg despite the excellent seasonal conditions, the committee said.

More than 70pc of producers who participated in the June 2022 AWI/MLA Wool and Sheepmeat survey expected their 2022-23 fleece weights to be the same as 2021-22.

The committee said the forecasted 2021-22 clip increase reflected the favourable end to the season, as well as the larger sheep flock as reported by the ABS 2020/21 Ag Census.  This increased the estimated number of sheep shorn by 2.57 million from the April forecast. AWTA key test data for the 2021/22 season compared with 2020/21 are shown in Table 3.

The September AWPFC estimate includes a clean wool estimate for average cut per head and shorn wool production. For the 2021-22 season the yield (%, Schlumberger dry top and noil yield) from the AWTA key test data was used to calculate the clean average cut per head and clean shorn wool production (Table 1).


The national committee drew on advice from the six state committees, which comprise 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 AWEX, wool exporters, the Australian Bureau of Statistics, ABARES, and Meat and Livestock Australia. The state and national committees will next meet in mid-December 2022.

Source – AWI.


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