Contact Details:

Australian Wool Innovation Limited
Emily King
Manager, Woolgrower Education & Capacity Building
ARTICLES >> Livestock Articles

Wool Production Forecast confirms three per cent rise

Posted by Bestprac on Jan 23 2012

Press Release - AWI


The Australian Wool Production Forecasting Committee has left the 2011/12 wool production forecast unchanged at 355mkg greasy, a rise of 3% on 2010/11 production levels. The forecast increase this season is based on a 3.8% rise in sheep shorn numbers and a slight fall in average fleece weights. Predicted opening sheep numbers remain at 70.8 million, up from 68 million last year. Seasonal conditions remain good in much of Eastern Australia and improving in Western Australia.

Table 1: Summary of wool production estimates and forecasts for Australia



August Forecast


October Forecast


Opening sheep numbers
(million head)
68.1 70.8 +3.8% 70.8 +3.8%
Sheep numbers shorn
(million head)
74.5 77.3 +3.8% 77.3 +3.8%
Average cut per head
4.63 4.6 -0.7% 4.60 -0.7%
Shorn wool production
(mkg greasy)
345 355 3.1% 355 3.1%

Note: Totals may not add due to rounding.

Committee chairman Russell Pattinson says reports from around Australia continue to signal evidence of grower intent to re-invest in sheep and wool.

“The most recent joint MLA/AWI grower survey (June 2011) showed that over 90 per cent of growers intend to maintain or increase sheep numbers in 2011/12, while the latest data for sheep slaughter levels (- 26%) and live export (-24%) confirm this as they are down substantially for the year to date.”

In addition, reports from State committees indicate higher than average lambing and weaning rates are expected in many areas of Australia which is positive for the future.

"While wool testing volumes and sale offerings for the season to date were higher than this time last year, the committee did not believe this indicated that annual production would be higher than predicted in August. Rather, the differences were largely due to changes in rainfall and shearing patterns between the last two seasons. Early in the 2010/11 season, offerings were low due to wet weather in many regions, while this season we have seen earlier and uninterrupted shearing over winter and spring compared to last year. Wool has also moved faster from shed to auction floor to take advantage of the improved wool prices on offer”. These differences are falling and are expected to fall further as the season progresses.

The national committee drew on advice from the six state committees, each of which include brokers, growers, private treaty merchants, representatives from state departments of agriculture and the Australian Wool Testing Authority.

Data and input was also drawn from AWEX, wool exporters, the Australian Bureau of Statistics, ABARES and Meat and Livestock Australia.

A full report of the latest forecasts will be available from the AWI website at

Released by:
Marius Cuming
Manager Corporate Communications

Last changed: Jan 23 2012



None Found

Add Comment