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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 January 2012

Friday, 23 December 2011

Minor adjustment but still positive for wool production forecast

The Australian Wool Production Forecasting Committee has revised its 2011/12 wool production forecast from 355 mkg to 350 mkg greasy, which is 1.5% above 2010/11 production. The adjustment has been made mainly because of an expectation of lower fleece weights in some areas than was the case in October.

Committee chairman Russell Pattinson said, "Fleece weights in some states have not been as good as the Committee anticipated at the October meeting".

"We have also seen animal health issues, due to increased problems with flies and worm burdens, impact on expected wool production."

The Committee has also adjusted the opening sheep numbers for 2011/12 following the release of provisional agricultural census data by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) earlier in December.

The census is conducted every 5 years, and provides a more reliable assessment of sheep numbers than the smaller annual surveys conducted in the between years by the ABS. Based on the latest census data, the ABS now expects 2011/12 opening sheep numbers to be 74.3 million, rather than the previous figure of 70.8 million. As a result of the revised data for 2011/12, the Committee has also adjusted the previous season's (2010/11) estimated opening sheep numbers from 68.1 million to 70.8 million.

Committee chairman Russell Pattinson added that although the forecast for total wool production for 2011/12 is down on the Committee's October estimate, it is still higher than it has been in recent years, and is consistent with the previously reported trend of flock rebuilding.
"Results from the combined MLA/AWI grower survey indicate that 90% of farmers intend to maintain or grow their ewe flocks in 2012."

Parameter 2010/11 revised estimate 2011/12 Change y-o-y (%)
October Forecast December Forecast
Opening sheep numbers
(million head)
70.8 70.8 74.3 +5.0%
Sheep numbers shorn
(million head)

76.2

77.3 78.7 +3.3%
Average cut per head
(kg/head)
4.5 4.60 4.42 -1.7%
Shorn wool production
(mkg greasy)
345 355 350 1.5%

Note: Totals may not add due to rounding.

The National Committee drew on advice from the six State Committees, each of which includes brokers, growers, 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 and Meat and Livestock Australia.

The full forecast report will be available on the AWI website at www.wool.com/forecasts from 6th January 2012.

Download the full report here:

Australian Wool Production Forecast January 2012 (566kb)

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