December 2012 ABARE* forecast:
Sheep numbers 75 million. Approximately 50% of these will be merino
Wool production 345 million kgs greasy (approx 245 million kgs clean weight).
Australia is generally considered the most reliable source of high quality merino wool and is the largest individual producing country. It produces 80% by volume of the merino used in textiles.
There are approximately 30,000 wool farms in Australia.
Wool production reached its lowest level since 1925 in the year 2011-12.
Production is forecast to increase by 0.9% in 2012-13
Approximately 50% of the total sheep numbers will be merino.
The breeding population at the end of February 2011 was 38.7 million head of which pure merino type was 53% or 20.5 million.
At the same date it was estimated there were 24.1 million head of lambs of which 58% were merino or 13.9 million.
This indicates that 42% of merino ewes are being joined to meat sheep breeds (terminal sires).
Click this link to to see ABARE* Outlook Forecast
* Australian Bureau of Agricultural Resource Economics