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Wool production set to fall further in 2009/10
06
Aug '09
Total world wool production has fallen by 160 mkg (clean) over the past eight years while apparel wool production is down 18%, according to the latest statistics submitted to the International Wool Textile Organisation (IWTO). And production is set to decline even further in 2009/10 as a result of drought conditions, a shift to meat production and other farming enterprises, and a view among growers in many countries that other enterprises offer better prospects.

South Africa - South Africa's production is forecast to be slightly down to between 47 - 48 mkg, following a mixed year in terms of rainfall with some major production areas experiencing drought conditions during the summer while other areas registered normal to above normal rainfall, such as the Western Cape, where flooding was experienced. Producers in drought-affected areas have been reporting lower fleece-weights, but the overall quality of the clip has been good with no significant increase in VM.

Analysis of broker receipt data and returns for direct purchases submitted by buyers suggest that 2008/09 production, compared with the 2007/08 season, may decline marginally, mainly as a result of drought conditions in parts of the country, which resulted in lower fleece weights. The estimated production for 2008/09 will therefore remain around the 47–48 mkg level. This follows two consecutive years of increased production, which pushed receipts to over the 48-mkg level.

Australia - Due to the drought in South East Australia, sheep numbers are expected to decline to their lowest levels since 1920 with wool production for 2009/10 forecast to fall to a 80-year low of around 330 mkg.

New Zealand - Production is expected to decline by 20% in 2008/09, mainly as a result of a conversion to dairy, drought on the coast of North Island and poor grower attitude towards wool as a result of sustained low wool prices. The downward trend is expected to continue as lack of demand for carpet wool is having a profound effect on prices for New Zealand wool.

Argentina - The picture doesn't look much better in Argentina where production is expected to decline by 5 mkg to 60 mkg greasy in 2009/08 due to drought and severe winter conditions. It is expected to remain at this level for 2009/10.

Uruguay - Production for 2009/10 is forecast to fall by 5%, with sheep numbers, particularly breeding ewes, under pressure from other enterprises.

Cape Wools SA

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