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Fresh wool production to fall sharply over next six months

Mar '07
The full impact of the 2006 drought in Australia will be evidenced by sharply lower fresh wool production over the next six months, according to the latest release by the Australian Wool Innovation (AWI) Production Forecasting Committee.

The Industry based Committee predicts that for the last four months of the 2006/07 season, shorn wool production and broker receivals will decline by an average of 20%-25% year-on-year. This will result in Australian shorn wool production falling to 425 million kilograms greasy for the full season.

Committee Chairman Dr David James said it was important that those in the industry understood the distinction between production and supply to market. Wool supply, as measured by auction offerings, has been particularly robust for the 2006/07 season, with the increase in auction offerings largely being met by shearings brought forward and the release of wool grower stocks held in-store and on-farm.

“However, this increase in supply should not be confused with shorn wool production. It is expected that Australian fresh wool production will decline significantly over the next six to eight months as the full impact of the drought hits,” said Dr James.

Highlighting what happens to the seasonal pattern of fresh wool production in a drought, Dr James pointed to 2002/03. In the 2002/03 season, wool production and broker receivals had their sharpest decline in April and May 2003, when AWTA test volumes (greasy) declined by as much as 30% year-on-year.

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