APWFC chairman Russell Pattinson said excellent seasonal conditions in all major sheep producing areas had resulted in higher average wool cuts per head this season.
“Some states such as Western Australia, South Australia and Queensland have seen the benefit from the improved seasonal conditions throughout the 2016/17 season and fleece weights are even better than the committee previously expected,” Pattinson said.
“For other states, notably Victoria, the improved seasonal conditions came later and average wool cuts per head have only increased at shearings from late spring onwards.
“These excellent seasonal conditions combined with the high wool prices in the past few months have also encouraged producers to retain older sheep to help rebuild their flocks and for shearing.”
The 4.3% forecast increase in shorn wool production compares with a 4.7% increase in the weight of wool tested in the first nine months of 2016/17.
Pattinson said some wool, particularly ultrafine wool, had been released from the stocks held on-farm and also from stocks held in broker’s stores in response to the high prices.
The AWPFC’s first forecast of shorn wool production for the coming 2017/18 season is for production to be 340 mkg greasy - a 0.4% increase on the 2016/17 forecast reflecting small increases in the number of sheep shorn and similar average wool cuts per head.
The AWPFC has assumed normal seasonal conditions through autumn and into 2017/18.
The full forecast report will be available on the AWI website on April 28.