The weight of wool tested by AWTA in October was down by 18%. This large drop continues the yo-yoing seen in the weight of wool tested so far this season, after a lift in September which was preceded by falls in July and August. The drop in October seems to be in part due to wet weather holding up shearing in some areas. As well, there are reports of a shortage of shearers and shed-hands due to restrictions on travel across state borders and from New Zealand. For the season to date, the weight of wool tested was down by 11.4%. All states bar Tasmania (up by 3%) recorded significant declines in wool tests in October, led by a 21% drop in Queensland and a 17% drop in Western Australia. Victoria and South Australia each saw wool tests fall by 13%, while New South Wales recorded a 7% decline (all on a Wool Statistical Area basis).
It is interesting to look at the change for each micron range for the season to date. The most notable aspect of this chart is that the weight of wool tested in the 21-24 micron range increased by 16% this season compared with the same period in 2019/20, even though the total weight of wool tested across Australia was down by 11.4%. The broadest micron range (29 micron & broader) has also recorded an increase of 18% (from a low base). In contrast, the weight of wool tested of 18.5 micron & finer was down by 23%. The weight of 19-20 micron wool tested was down by 9% this season. The 25-28 micron range saw the largest drop, down by 28%.
Further details, including a chart showing the change in wool tests by micron range for the first four months of the 2020/21 season, are provided in this week’s edition of the NCWSBA Weekly Newsletter. Available to NCWSBA members.