August 2016


The Australian Wool Production Forecasting Committee predicts that shorn wool production in 2016/17 will be at 325 mkg greasy, the same level as its revised estimate for the 2015/16 season. While opening sheep numbers and the number of sheep shorn are likely to be lower this season than in 2015/16, an improvement in average wool cut per head is expected as a result of far better seasonal conditions, thereby keeping wool production unchanged.

The Committee noted that, after an extended period of dry seasonal conditions in many major sheep producing areas, there have been extensive rains since May which have brought vastly improved seasonal conditions and prospects for 2016/17. Many regions are now reporting excellent conditions, which are expected to result in better average wool cuts per head in 2016/17. However, for some states this improvement is unlikely to become evident until summer and into autumn 2017 as spring shearing will have been affected by the dry conditions up to autumn this year.

A key influence on wool production in 2016/17 will be lower opening sheep numbers. The very dry conditions in western and central Victoria, south-east South Australia, Tasmania, parts of New South Wales and throughout Queensland for much of 2015/16 resulted in a continued turn-off of sheep and lambs across much of Australia. While those decisions will mean fewer sheep shorn in these areas, the improved seasonal conditions are expected to see producers retaining more sheep this season

The Committee’s estimate of shorn wool production for 2015/16 has been revised to 325 mkg greasy, slightly higher than its April forecast. This is 6.1% below the 2014/15 level, with the decline due to a combination of lower sheep shorn numbers and lower average wool cut. This is less than the 7% decline in the weight of wool tested by AWTA in 2015/16. This difference is due to the fact that some of the increase in wool tests, receivals and auction offerings late in the 2014/15 season was attributed to the release of on-farm stocks. These stocks were not available for sale in 2015/16. The Committee’s estimate for read more…AWPFC Forecast Report August 2016