Australian wool production recovery checked
The Australian Wool Production Forecasting Committee has slightly reduced its forecast for 2011/12 to 345mkg, the same level as in 2010/11 and down by 1.4% from the December 2011 forecast.
While sheep numbers have risen, the expected improvements in fleece weight have not materialised in all regions.
Seasonal conditions continue to be good in many areas and grower confidence remains strong, with recent producer survey results showing a continued intent to increase sheep numbers.
The Committee's first projection for 2012/13 has been set at 350 mkgs, driven largely by an expected increase in opening sheep numbers and in the number of sheep to be shorn.
The latest wool production forecast for 2011/12 has come in at 345 million kilograms (mkg), the same as last year, with wool production expected to increase slightly in the 2012/13 season by five mkgs.
Wool production gains for 2011/12 across South Australia, Victoria and Tasmania are forecast to be negated by drops in wool production in Western Australia and Queensland, with New South Wales production steady.
The Australian Wool Production Forecasting Committee (AWPFC) reports lower than expected fleece weights as being the key driver in the slightly reduced forecast from the December estimate, although the number of sheep shorn would also appear to have not risen by as much as the lift in opening sheep numbers.
Meeting this week, the AWPFC discussed recent survey results revealing that woolgrower confidence remains strong with most wool producers intending to maintain or to increase sheep numbers. However the Committee also heard of less favourable seasonal conditions in some southern parts of the country, which when coupled with the significant impact of wild dogs in pastoral and alpine areas, may hamper any significant recovery in wool production.
Chairman of the AWPFC, Russell Pattinson says while overall production will remain at levels equivalent to 2010/11, there is some good news coming through in the latest forecast.
“Yields are up so the quality of the wool coming through is good, we just haven't seen the greasy fleece weight increase as much as initially expected,” Mr Pattinson said.
The AWPFC has also made their first forecast for the 2012/13 season and has forecast an increase in wool production by 1.4 per cent to 350mkgs.
The increase in wool production for 2012/13 is expected to be largely driven by an increase in opening sheep numbers as woolgrowers seek to increase their wool flocks.
Fleece weights are anticipated to remain stable. “While many parts of the country are experiencing good seasons, the committee is concerned about the autumn outlook for parts of Tasmania, South Australia and Victoria,” Mr Pattinson added.
The AWI Wool Production Forecasting Committee draws together a range of objective data and qualitative information to produce consensus-based, authoritative forecasts of Australian wool production three times a year.
It is funded by Australian Wool Innovation Limited, which also provides a representative on the role of the Chairman of the National Committee.
The Australian Wool Production Forecasting Committee