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Wool Production Forecasts

Wool bales in shearing shed, Victoria

AWI forecasts Australian wool production volumes and qualities three times a year. National and State level committee structures use a consensus-based forecasting methods supported by industry data and grower survey information. Accurate forecasting of Australian wool production volumes is critical to the global trade, given Australia's dominance of global apparel wool production.

Production forecasts are published in this section with a Media Release. The full report is available as a downloadable PDF within the Media Release. The detailed report features the forecasts, historical data and commentary on the key drivers of the forecasts.

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Australian Wool Production Forecast Report April 2016

Friday, 15 April 2016

The Australian Wool Production Forecasting Committee (AWPFC) confirmed its forecast of shorn wool production for the 2015/16 season at 322 million kilograms greasy, a 7.0% decline on the 2014/15 season, as predicted at its meeting in December.

Wool production remains down in 2015/16

     
 
  • The Australian Wool Production Forecasting Committee confirmed its December forecast of a 7% decline in shorn wool production in 2015/16 to 322 mkg. This reflects a combination of both fewer sheep shorn than in 2014/15 and a decline in average fleece weights due to seasonal conditions.
  • The Committee’s first forecast for 2016/17 is for shorn wool production to be 320 mkg greasy.
 
     

 

The Australian Wool Production Forecasting Committee (AWPFC) confirmed its forecast of shorn wool production for the 2015/16 season at 322 million kilograms greasy, a 7.0% decline on the 2014/15 season, as predicted at its meeting in December.

Committee Chairman, Russell Pattinson said that “as the Committee expected in December, the dry seasonal conditions in Spring in many major sheep producing areas have resulted in lower average wool cuts per head this season. The hot, dry conditions over summer in a number of regions is likely to further exacerbate this during the autumn shearings and has also reportedly resulted in increased turn-off of sheep. This is particularly in evidence in Victoria, Tasmania, south-east South Australia and much of the main sheep producing regions in Queensland.

“Some regions, such as areas in Western Australia, have seen better rainfall mainly from intense summer storms which has relieved stock water shortages but pasture conditions remain a concern. In New South Wales, the largest producing state, conditions are mixed, with some regions seeing improvements but others reporting drier conditions and lower fleece weights than a year ago.”

The 7% decline compares with a 5.6% decline in the weight of wool tested by AWTA in the first eight months of 2015/16. The Committee expects that AWTA tests will fall away more rapidly in the last quarter of the season compared to the last quarter of 2014/15.

The AWPFC’s first forecast of shorn wool production for the coming 2016/17 season is for production to be 320 mkg greasy.

The Committee noted that for the 2015/16 season to February, AWTA test data showed a significant increase in the weight of wool between 16.5 micron and finer, only a small decline in the volumes of 17 micron wool but a significant decline in volumes of wool between 21.6 and 23.5 microns. Volumes of other micron categories mostly fell by around 6%-9%. The mean fibre diameter for Australia to February was 21.1 microns, the same as in 2014/15.

Table 1: Summary of wool production estimates and forecasts for Australia

Parameter 2013/14
Final
Estimate
2014/15
Fourth
Forecast
Change
y-o-y
(%)
2015/16
Initial Projection
Change
y-o-y
(%)
Sheep numbers shorn (million head) 72.6 72.8 -5.4% 71.9 -1.1%
Average cut per head (kg/head) 4.50 4.43 -1.6% 4.45 +0.4%
Shorn wool production
(mkg greasy)
346 322 -7.0% 320 -0.7%

Note: Totals may not add due to rounding.

Table 2: Total shorn wool production by state - 2014/15 and 2015/16

mkg greasy; QLD NSW VIC TAS SA WA NATIONAL
2014/15 Final Estimate (mkg) 9.1 130.0 72.6 10.8 56.5 67.2 346
2015/16 Fourth Forecast (mkg) 6.4 120.8 66.1 9.0 54.8 65.2 322
Change y-o-y % -30.2% -7.1% -9.0% -17.0% -3.1% -3.0% -7.0%

Note: Totals may not add due to rounding.

The National Committee drew on advice from the six State Committees, each of which includes growers, brokers, private treaty merchants, representatives from State Departments of Agriculture, and the Australian Wool Testing Authority. Data and input was also drawn from AWEX, wool exporters, the Australian Bureau of Statistics, ABARES, AWTA and Meat and Livestock Australia.

Download the full report here:

Australian Wool Production Forecast April 2016

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