Australian shorn wool production for the 2015-’16 season is expected dip by seven per cent over the 2014-15 season. The seven per cent decline compares with a 5.6 per cent decline in the weight of wool tested in the first eight months of 2015-’16.
Dry seasonal conditions in spring in many major sheep-producing areas have resulted in lower average wool cuts per head this season. The hot, dry conditions over summer in a number of regions is likely to further exacerbate this during the autumn shearings and has also reportedly resulted in increased turn-off of sheep.
For the 2015-16 season upto February, there has been a significant increase in the weight of wool between 16.5 micron and finer, only a small decline in the volumes of 17 micron wool, but a significant decline in volumes of wool between 21.6 and 23.5 microns. Volumes of other micron categories mostly fell by around six to nine per cent. The mean fiber diameter for Australia to February, was 21.1 microns, the same as in 2014-’15.
Some regions, such as areas in Western Australia, have seen better rainfall mainly from intense summer storms which have relieved stock water shortages but pasture conditions remain a concern.