Difficult season leads to drop in wool production forecast
Australian wool production has been forecast to fall 10.8 per cent for the 2018-19 season to 305 million kilograms.
In developing its prediction, the Australian Wool Production Forecasting Committee took into account the expected reduction in both the number of sheep shorn and the average annual wool cut per head as a result of the continuing difficult season.
Committee chairman Russell Pattinson said the season had been difficult through most of New South Wales and Queensland, northern Victoria and east Gippsland, northern South Australia and parts of southern WA.
“Shorn wool production in NSW is expected to decline by 20 per cent to 100 million kg and by 14 per cent in Queensland to 7.1 million kg,” he said.
WA production was expected to fall 3.6 per cent to 62.7 million kg.
Meanwhile, the AWEX Eastern Market Indicator recorded an increase for the first time in more than a month, after sales in Sydney, Melbourne and Fremantle.
AWEX market analyst Lionel Plunkett said the increase was mainly a result of solid gains in the carding and crossbred sectors.
“The Merino fleece market performed with mixed results, with all three centres recording varied outcomes for similar wools,” he said.
“A large selection of fine tender wools struggled to attract strong buyer demand, this contributed to the Micron Price Guides of 19.0 and finer generally falling by 30 to 50 cents per kilogram.”
Mr Plunkett said the 19.5 to 20.5 micron MPGs attracted excellent competition and managed modest increases for the week, while a limited selection of 21 micron and coarser were generally unchanged compared to the previous sale.
“The EMI recorded a 5¢/kg increase, to close the week at 1781¢/kg,” he said.
“As a result of the finer microns suffering larger losses over the previous few months, the price differentials between microns has shrunk considerably.”
Mr Plunkett said this was best highlighted when looking at the difference between the MPGs of a 19 and a 21 micron.
“Currently, this difference is averaging only 47¢/kg, compared to over 110¢/kg when the MPGs peaked back in August,” he said.
“The crossbred sector recorded gains for the week with prices generally increasing by 5¢ to 25¢/kg, with the largest gains felt on the better prepared lines.”