The AWTA provides monthly volume data which captures most of the wool produced and sold in Australia, thereby providing an excellent measure of production. This article looks at the latest AWTA wool volume data to August.

As in previous articles Mecardo needs to mention the source of the data used in this article and its availability to anyone with access to a web browser, can be found here. The information provided by the AWTA is a valuable public good, in a world where much data is privatised.

Figure 1 shows the year on year change in volumes by micron category for eastern and Western Australia, for the three months to August. The data is smoothed by using the three month period to iron out variations or “noise” in the data caused by short term factors such as rainfall interrupting the flow of wool from sheep to store or varying numbers of wool sales.

As has been the case for the past year the supply of 16 micron and finer wool continues to shrink, a consequence of good back to back seasons (in the main) following a multi-year drought in eastern Australia. Increased sheep numbers and improved clean fleece weights (which go with broader wool) are combining to boost the main merino micron categories (18 to 20 micron) quite strongly. The broader merino category volumes continue to rise strongly, benefiting from a continued broadening of the merino clip (albeit at a slowing rate). Crossbred volumes are also on the rise, adding an extra issue to an already troubled section of the greasy wool market. Overall the volume in eastern Australia was up 39% for the June to August period and up 41% in Western Australia (as measured by farm bales).

The actual volume in farm bales by micron category is shown in Figure 2 for eastern and Western Australia. In addition the proportion of volume by micron category made up by Western Australia is shown at the top of each column.  For example Western Australian volumes accounted for 6% of 15 micron volume and 23% of 19 micron volumes. Beyond 24 micron the proportion of wool contributed by Western Australia was neither here nor there. It is the 18 through 21 micron categories where the Western Australian clip had the largest share, which is reflected in the MPGs produced by AWEX for the Fremantle selling centre.

What does it mean?

The supply pressure which helped lift the micron premiums for fine wool, continues (at a lower level) for sub-17 micron merino wool. The pressure remains in broad merino wool, so the gap between the 21 micron and 19 micron categories is set to remain wide for the time being. Crossbred prices, which continue to struggle, have plenty of supply coming into the market so there is no respite coming from the supply side of the market.

Have any questions or comments?

We love to hear from you!

Print This Post

Key Points

  • The supply of wool produced in Australia rose by 40% (farm bales) in the three months to August.
  • Sub-17 micron volumes continue to fall, as the merino clip continues to broaden.
  • Crossbred volumes are rising quite strongly.
  • Broad merino volumes continue rise strongly with the 21 micron volume up 55% for the three months to August.

Click to expand

Click to expand

Data sources: AWEX, AWTA, ICS, Mecardo

Make decisions with confidence- ask about our board packs, bespoke forecasting and risk management services

Have any questions or comments?

We love to hear from you!
Wool bales
Wool

Solid market, strong demand

Following the positive finish last week, from the outset the market attracted animated bidding with prices for the merino types lifting 50 to 90 cents,

Read More »
Wool
Wool

12-13 micron wool

A fine 12 micron lot of wool from the New England made a splash this week by selling for $150 per greasy kg ($212 per

Read More »
Percentiles with a background image of hay bales
Cattle

Percentiles – October 2021

Mecardo’s Percentiles update for October 2021. Click below to view the latest report Grains Oilseeds Sheep and lambs Cattle Wool Dairy Fuel Percentiles are an important

Read More »

Don’t have an account with us? Join free.

You can have full premium access to all of our content with a monthly or annual subscription. 

Alternatively, create a free account to access our Insights blog and two free premium article a month!

Independent analysis and outlook for wool, livestock and grain markets delivered to you as it’s published

Commodity conversations podcast cover image, a illustration of a sheep standing on a cow's back with grain either side
Listen to the podcast

Join the Mecardo team for the Commodity Conversations podcast, where we provide short weekly market recaps and longer conversations with guests to discuss the drivers and trends in livestock, grain and fibre markets.

Photo of a farmer surrounded by Merino sheep in dusty yards
Research: Analysis of the Australian sheep flock

In this report for LiveCorp and MLA, we analysed the historical trends in the demographics of the Australian sheep flock, examining domestic factors that influence farm-level enterprise decision making. 

Image of harvested grain pouring into a chaser bin
SERVICES AND CAPABILITIES STATEMENT BROCHURE

We don’t just bring you the most up to date market insights. Find out more about Mecardo’s services including risk management advisory, modelling, benchmarking, research & consultancy.