AWTA released the wool test statistics for February on 1st March and these show that the weight of wool tested jumped by 16% in February compared with February 2020. As a result, for the 2020/21 season to end February, the weight of wool tested was 4.9% below year earlier levels. If this trend pf year-on-year increases continues, the AWPFC’s forecast of a 1.1% increase in shorn wool production for the 2020/21 season will be within reach.
All states with the exception of Western Australia (WA) recorded a significant increase in the volume of wool tested in February, led by a 57% jump for Tasmania and a 38% surge for New South Wales (NSW). For the season to date, NSW and Tasmania both recorded a year-on-year increase in the weight of wool tested (+2.2% for NSW and +11% for Tasmania), while the other states have seen falls in the weight of wool tested, with Queensland down by 15.5% and WA down by 13.2%. Victoria and South Australia both recorded declines of a little over 6%. The impact of the better seasonal conditions for the eastern and southern states is seen in the significant improvement in staple strength (up from an average of 32.3 N/ktex in 2019/20 to 34 N/ktex this season) and mean fibre diameter (up from 20.6 micron last season to 20.8 micron this season). Staple length has also increased sharply, up from 86.5 mm to 89.4 mm this season. Some of this increase will be due to delays in shearing caused by COVID travel restrictions.
Further details are provided in this week’s edition of the NCWSBA Weekly Newsletter. Available to NCWSBA members.