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Shorn wool production to stabilise in 2008/09
26
Mar '08
Improved seasonal conditions has resulted in a modest upward revision to the 2007/08 shorn wool production forecast, and stable production for the 2008/09 season, according to the Australian Wool Innovation (AWI) Production Forecasting Committee.

Total Australian shorn wool production is forecast at 405 mkg greasy in 2007/08, an overall 6% decline from 2006/07. While sheep numbers have been reduced from the 2006 drought, fleece weights have rebounded stronger than expected, particularly in NSW.

A combination of factors has influenced this, such as lower stocking rates after many seasons of below average rainfall and higher feed availability and quality from improved seasonal conditions.

This improved outlook is also expected to flow through into next season, with the Committee expecting Australian shorn wool production to stabilise in 2008/09 at 405 mkg greasy, unchanged year-on-year.

Committee Chairman Russell Pattinson said, “assuming a return to average seasonal conditions across Australia in 2008, fleece weights are forecast to improve further in most states, while sheep shorn numbers will largely stabilise as producers on the east coast either maintain or attempt to rebuild the sheep flock.

“However, offsetting this forecast increase in wool production in eastern Australia in 2008/09 is a decline from Western Australia. In Western Australia, high global grain prices are expected to result in a swing towards cropping - at the expense of livestock,” he said.

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