AUSTRALIA is on track to hit the $3 billion mark in wool exports for the first time since 2003.
Australian Council of Wool Exporters and Processors executive director Peter Morgan said Australia exported 154 million kilograms of wool valued at $1462 million in the July to December 2016 period.
This was a year-on-year increase for the period of 7.25 percent in exports and an 11.6pc lift on value.
Mr Morgan said if the market stays at current price levels, and the production pattern of the last three years is repeated, the value of Australia’s wool exports for the full 12 months to June 30 2017 is likely to be in the order of $3 billion.
“They are forecasting to produce a bit more wool this year and the prices are up, so intuitively the likelihood is pretty high,” he said.
“All the maths suggest that our chances of being there are pretty good,” he said.
“It just reminds people that we are a very useful industry.”
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Australi’s wool exports were valued at $2.742 billion last year and the nation last tipped the $3 billion mark in 2002-03 when wool shipments were worth $3.327 billion. Australia’s shorn wool production is forecast to lift by 2.2pc to 332 mkg greasy in 2016/17, due to a predicted 2.7pc increase in average wool cut per head, offsetting a small decline in the number of sheep shorn.
Mr Morgan said exports to China were down by 2.1pc in December and up by 13.5pc in the July to December period. They accounted for 76.6pc of Australia’s exports in December and for 77.6pc in the year-to-date.
Australia’s second and third most important destinations by weight of wool were India, taking 6.7pc of exports and Italy at 5pc. About 86pc of Australia’s exports of wool of 19 microns and finer went to China and 4.1pc went to Italy.
Source: Australian Wool Industry Secretariat.