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Australia’s shorn wool production declines

Shorn wool production in Australia for the 2015-16 season is expected to decline 6.2 per cent over the previous season. But almost all major sheep producing areas across Australia are reported to be experiencing good to excellent season conditions and an abundance of feed after a very wet spring. This is expected to result in even better average wool cuts per head in 2016-17 than anticipated.

The mean fiber diameter for Australia in 2016-17 to November was 20.7 microns, the same as in 2015-16. There was an increase in the volumes of wool for all micron ranges between 18.6 microns and 23.5 microns.

Some regions, notably in Victoria, in the tablelands of New South Wales and in Tasmania, have experienced a rather tough winter after seeing very dry conditions up until May. So fleece weights are only now starting to improve. The full benefit of the improved seasons is expected to be seen during autumn shearing.

Shorn wool production is expected to increase in New South Wales, Western Australia, South Australia and Queensland. The increase in Queensland is particularly welcome after three consecutive years of decline and in part reflects sheep returning to the state after the breaking of the long drought. Production in Victoria is expected to be steady, with an improvement in the second half of the season while production in Tasmania is predicted to be slightly lower.