At the start of February, AWTA released the data on wool tested in January. It shows that after the unexpected year-on-year 15% jump in December, the weight of wool tested was lower than year earlier levels in January. However, the year-on-year decline of 4.3% for the month was a much smaller decline than seen between July and September 2019. As a result, the weight of wool tested for the seven months July to January was 5% lower than for the same period in 2018/19. This year-on-year decline is quite a bit smaller than the Australian Wool Production Forecasting Committee’s November 2019 forecast of a 9.2% drop in 2019/20. In fact, it is the same as the Committee’s August forecast of a 5% decline in production for the full 2019/20 season.
The Committee’s forecast seems to be particularly pessimistic for New South Wales. The forecasts for both Western Australia and South Australia are also for a greater decline than for the season to January, but this may change in coming months. On the other hand, the Committee’s forecasts for Victoria, Tasmania and Queensland are all in line with the year-to-date % change in the weight of wool tested. Note that the state-by-state change in wool tested is based on Wool Statistical Area, so gives the best guide to the actual change in production for each state. The AWPFC is currently scheduled to meet on 29th April 2020 to review its forecast for 2019/20 and also consider its first forecast for 2020/21.
Further details, including a chart showing the % change year-on-year in wool tested in January 2020 and for the season to date for Australia and by state, compared with the AWPFC’s November forecast, is provided in the full edition of the Weekly Newsletter. Available to members of NCWSBA.