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Wool production forecast increases with good season

Sheep Central, August 20, 2021

AUSTRALIA’S wool production is forecast to increase more than five percent to 310 million kilograms this financial year underpinned by improved seasonal conditions.

The Australian Wool Production Forecasting Committee’s second forecast of shorn wool production in 2021/22 is 310mkg greasy, up 5.2pc on its 2020/21 estimate of 294mkg and 5mkg higher than its first estimate for 2021/22.

The 2021/22 wool production in each state is now expected to be 106.1mkgs in New South Wales, 74.8mkgs in Victoria, 56.9mkgs in Western Australia, 54.5mkgs in South Australia, 10.7mkgs in Tasmania and 7mkgs in Queensland.

The committee said today that the number of sheep shorn is expected to rise 3.3 percent to 69 million and average cut per head is forecast to rise 1.8pc to 4.49kgs after widespread rainfall throughout many key wool producing regions, auguring well for a good spring season.

The committee said the national flock remains at historically low levels, which will continue to constrain recovery in shorn wool production in the short-term. Favourable seasonal conditions in most key wool-producing regions are expected to increase average cut per head by 2.3pc to 4.54 kg greasy.

Committee chairman, Russell Pattinson said widespread rainfall across many wool producing regions is expected to generate high pasture availability in Spring when soil temperatures increase.

“Breeding ewes are reported to be in good condition in key regions with lambing and marking rates both expected to rise on the back of high scanning percentages.”

Australian Bureau of Statistics sheep and lamb turn-off data to the end of March 2021 showed a 19pc decrease in total turn-off compared with the same period in 2019/20. The committee expects this decreased turn-off to continue as sheep producers seek to rebuild their flocks. The June 2021 AWI/MLA Wool and Sheepmeat Survey found that 55pc of producers intend to maintain breeding ewe numbers and 37pc intend to increase numbers.

The committee said the positive adjustment of its April wool production forecast reflected the favourable end to the 2020/21 season and the impact this had on per head production (+6.8pc) compared to the 2019/20 season. AWTA test data for the 2020/21 season reflected this and showed increases in mean fibre diameter (20.8 microns, up 0.3), staple length (88.3 mm, up 2.7) and staple strength (34.0 N/ktex, up 1.5).

The full forecast report will be available on the AWI website at www.wool.com/forecasts from 27th August 2021.

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