The Australian Wool Production Forecasting Committee (AWPFC) released its new forecast for 2018/19 and its estimate for 2017/18.
After considering the industry data, seasonal conditions, and input from the state forecasting committees, the Committee now forecasts shorn wool production at 322 mkg greasy in 2018/19, a 5.7% drop in production. This is lower than its first forecast released in April. The sharp drop in shorn wool production is due to the very dry and drought conditions throughout New South Wales, Queensland, significant parts of South Australia and parts of Victoria. This has caused an increase in sheep and lamb turn -off. Adult sheep slaughterings were up by 28% in 2017/18 and total turn-off of sheep and lambs was 10% higher than in 2016/17. The Committee expects that sheep shorn numbers will fall by 3.2% to 74.3 million head. The Committee noted that Tasmania, western Victoria, the south-east of South Australia and parts of Western Australia were all experiencing good conditions. Even so, the Committee predicts that the average weight of wool shorn per sheep across Australia will fall by 2.6%.
The AWPFC made its final estimate of shorn wool production in 2017/18 at 341 mkg greasy. This is slightly higher than the forecast it made in April and 1 mkg above the production level in 2016/17. This slight increase is in line with the percentage increases seen for 2017/18 in wool test volumes by AWTA, first hand offerings reported by AWEX and the ABS’ wool receivals.
Full details including a chart showing new forecasts for 2018/19 state-by-state and compared with the past five seasons, with the % change between 2018/19 and 2017/18 is included in the Weekly Newsletter for 17th August 2018, available free to NCWSBA members.