Big fall in wool yields
DRY conditions across many parts of Australia have resulted in a big drop in wool production.
Shorn wool production in
2018–19 has been forecast to drop 10.8 per cent to
305 million kg, down from
341 million kg in 2017–18, according to the Australian Wool Production Forecasting Committee.
High sheep slaughter to the end of September was expected to reduce the number of sheep shorn in
2018–19 by 6.6 per cent to
71.7 million, with a 4.4 per cent reduction in annual average cut-per-head to
4.25kg as a result of the tough seasonal conditions.
Committee chairman Russell Pattinson said the significant drop wasn’t unexpected. He said it was due to the poor season, which continued to be very difficult through most of NSW and Queensland, northern Victoria and parts of southern Western Australia.
Production in NSW is expected to decline 20 per cent to 100 million kg, in Queensland it will drop 14 per cent to 7.1 million kg and in South Australia it was forecast to fall 8 per cent.
Mr Pattinson said the forecast meant there was “less wool around” but it was a seasonal issue.
“For the past seven or eight years we’ve been sitting around 340 million kg and people are trying to retain sheep,” he said.
The committee meeting was brought forward to last week from its usual timeslot of mid-December, to provide the industry with an updated forecast for the remainder of the season. Mr Pattinson said the months after the August meeting were critical to determine what would happen with the season.
“There was interest from the marketplace about where volume was at,” he said.
PREDICTIONS: Shorn wool production in 2018–19 has been forecast to drop 10.8 per cent.