The latest statistics on wool tests for November showed a surprisingly large 21% drop in the weight of wool tested in November. At just 32.2 mkg, the weight tested was the lowest tested in the month of November for many, many years. My databases only go back to 2011/12 and the total tested is well below the next lowest, which was 34.3 mkg in 2015/16. The Australian Wool Production Forecasting Committee when it met in 3 weeks ago was not expecting such a collapse in wool tests in November for Australia or for most states. We will need to keep a close eye on the weight of wool tested in the next few months to see if the result for November is a ‘one off’, or if it heralds another step down in wool production in Australia as a result of the drought.
The wool test statistics by micron range continues the trend seen from the start of the 2018/19 season with a large drop in the weight of wool tested in the 19 to 23 micron category, but an equally large lift in the weight of wool tested in the 18.5 micron and finer (superfine) category. The superfine category has seen a 20% jump in the weight of wool tested for the five months between July and November 2018 compared with a year earlier. Of this, there was a 74% increase in the weight of 16.5 micron & finer wool for the first five months. At 50.5 mkg, it is the largest weight tested in the superfine category on record for the first five months. Superfine wool accounted for a massive 36.2% of the wool tested in the July to November 2018 period, compared with 26.2% for July to November 2017.
Further details including a chart showing the change in the weight of wool tested for November 2018 and the 2018/19 season to November for Australia and for each state, as well as the predicted change in shorn wool production for the full 2018/19 season from the Australian Wool Production Forecasting Committee (AWPFC) is given in this week’s edition of the NCWSBA Weekly Newsletter, available to NCWSBA members.