7% drop in Aussie 2015-16 shorn wool output confirmed
According to the Australian Wool Production Forecasting Committee (AWPFC), its December forecast of a 7 per cent decline in shorn wool production in 2015/16 over 2014/2015 to 322 million kg has been confirmed.
“This reflects a combination of both, fewer sheep shorn than in 2014/15 and a decline in average fleece weights due to seasonal conditions,” an Australian Wool Innovation Limited press release said.
Committee chairman, Russell Pattinson said, “The Committee expected in December that the dry seasonal conditions in Spring in many major sheep producing areas have resulted in lower average wool cuts per head.”
“The hot, dry conditions over summer in a number of regions are likely to further exacerbate this during the autumn shearings and has also reportedly resulted in increased turn-off of sheep,” he added.
“This is particularly in evidence in Victoria, Tasmania, south-east South Australia and much of the main sheep producing regions in Queensland,” Pattinson observed.
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.
In New South Wales, the largest producing state, conditions are mixed, with some regions seeing improvements but others reporting drier conditions and lower fleece weights than a year ago.
“The 7 per cent decline compares with a 5.6 per cent drop in the weight of wool tested by AWTA in the first eight months of 2015/16,” the press release also added.
The Committee expects that AWTA tests will fall away more rapidly in the last quarter of the season compared to the last quarter of 2014/15.
The Committee noted that for the 2015/16 season to February, AWTA test data showed a significant increase in the weight of wool between 16.5 micron and finer.
“And 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,” the Committee noted.
Volumes of other micron categories mostly fell by around 6-9 per cent, while the mean fibre diameter for Australia to February was 21.1 microns, the same as in 2014/15. (AR)
Fibre2Fashion News Desk – India