Australian Wool Production

forecast as at April 2020

Source: Australian Wool Production Forecasting Committee

The Australian Wool Production Forecasting Committee’s fourth forecast of shorn wool production in 2019/20 is 281 mkg greasy. This is a 6.3% decline on the 300 mkg estimate for 2018/19 as low sheep numbers and the enduring impact of drought continue to constrain production.

The Committee’s first forecast for 2020/21 is for shorn wool production to be 276 mkg greasy, a fall of 1.6% compared with the current season. Low sheep numbers, opportunistic cropping in mixed farming regions and uncertainty surrounding wool prices are expected to contribute to a slow recovery in shorn wool production despite the favourable seasonal outlook in many wool production areas.

Actual Production – Last three years

Year ending June  Kgs (clean) Millions %
2018 224.9
2019 191.6 -12%
2020 176.3  -8%


The table above indicates the significant and continuing decline in Australian production. A major reason for this is the widespread and severe drought conditions in large areas of the country.

Declining Production

The chart at left demonstrates the decline in merino production over the last 30 years. The data is for full years to June 30, 2020.

It is important to note that this is for all wool types (not just merino).

See the Micron Profile chart to understand more about merino production by micron.

Production Profile by Micron category

This chart identifies the volume and proportion of each micron category of the Australian clip.

Changing Profile of the Australian wool clip:

This chart demonstrates the increase or decrease in production volume by micron category.

All micron categories have declined in the year just completed.

Shearing Pattern

Unlike most other merino producing countries, this chart demonstrates that shearing takes place through all months of the year but with a considerable reduction during winter months (June and July).

Shearing patterns are changing as many growers move to shearing more than once per year in order to achieve the specified fibre length and fibre strength to meet technical standards required by many brands, especially those manufacturing active/outdoor/performance wear garments.