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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 March 2008

Thursday, 20 March 2008

Improved seasonal conditions has resulted in a modest upward revision to the 2007/08 shorn wool production forecast, and stable production for the 2008/09 season, according to the Australian Wool Innovation (AWI) Production Forecasting Committee.

Total Australian shorn wool production is forecast at 405 mkg greasy in 2007/08, an overall 6% decline from 2006/07. While sheep numbers have been reduced from the 2006 drought, fleece weights have rebounded stronger than expected, particularly in NSW. A combination of factors has influenced this, such as lower stocking rates after many seasons of below average rainfall and higher feed availability and quality from improved seasonal conditions.

This improved outlook is also expected to flow through into next season, with the Committee expecting Australian shorn wool production to stabilise in 2008/09 at 405 mkg greasy, unchanged year-on-year.

Committee Chairman Russell Pattinson said, "assuming a return to average seasonal conditions across Australia in 2008, fleece weights are forecast to improve further in most states, while sheep shorn numbers will largely stabilise as producers on the east coast either maintain or attempt to rebuild the sheep flock.

"However, offsetting this forecast increase in wool production in eastern Australia in 2008/09 is a decline from Western Australia. In Western Australia, high global grain prices are expected to result in a swing towards cropping - at the expense of livestock," he said.

The forecasts were assisted by the data from a detailed grower survey of over 1,400 wool producers across Australia, covering production trends, on-farm enterprise mix and flock demographics.

Mr Pattinson said "this survey is a valuable tool to support both the national and state committee's in the development of production and supply information, and we would like to sincerely thank all growers who participated across Australia."

A full report of the latest forecasts will be available after 2.00pm Thursday, 27th March on the AWI website at www.wool.com/forecasts.

The next meeting of the AWI Production Forecasting Committee is scheduled for Thursday, 3rd July 2008.

Backgrounder

The final 2006/07 estimate for Australian shorn wool production of 430 mkg greasy, was revised higher by 4 mkg greasy compared with the December 2007 estimate. This revision occurred after a review of the final estimate of ABS broker receivals for 2006/07.

Production in 2006/07 is based on 101.4 million head of sheep and lambs shorn at an average of 4.24 kilograms per head (kg/hd). The fifth committee forecast for the 2007/08 season is based on 91.5 million head of sheep and lambs shorn at an average fleece weight of 4.43 kg/hd.

State by state, 2007/08 shorn wool production forecasts are:

  • NSW - 138 mkg (down 2%)
  • Queensland -19 mkg greasy (down 7%)
  • Victoria - 83 mkg greasy (down by 7%)
  • Tasmania - 9 mkg (down by 18%)
  • Western Australia - 94 mkg (down by 10%)
  • South Australia - 61 mkg (down 3%)

In developing the forecasts the Committee reviewed the latest available statistics from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA), ABARE, the Australian Wool Exchange (AWEX), the Australian Wool Testing Authority (AWTA) and the national AWI/Department of WA Agriculture woolgrower survey with responses from 1400 woolgrowers. The Committee also drew on information from the state sub-committees about conditions and trends in the various regions of each state.

The AWI Production Forecasting Committee comprises woolgrowers, wool brokers, exporters, processors, private treaty merchants and representatives from AWEX, AWTA, ABARE, ABS, MLA, DAWA and The Woolmark Company.

State and National Shorn Wool Production
Season Meeting QLD NSW Vic TAS SA WA National
2004/05 Dec 05 23 165 98 15 63 112 475
2005/06 Dec 06 22 156 92 13 58 122 461
2006/07 Mar 08 21 140 89 12 63 105 430
2007/08 Dec 07 (f) 19 127 86 9 60

93

395
2007/08 Mar 08 (f) 19 138 83 9 61 94 405
2008/09 Mar 08 (f)             405

Note: Totals may not add due to rounding
Figures: mkg greasy (e) = estimate (f) = forecast

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