Lots of yarn from volatile wool year

Update: 03-01-2020

Western Australia could be forgiven for being woollen y […]

Western Australia could be forgiven for being woollen yarn underwhelmed by 2019 and dismissing their commodity's market performance as lacklustre, compared to recent previous years.A dry autumn, a late season break, followed by a mostly dry spring, meant stubbles and pasture did not stretch as far as they normally do, so many flocks were reliant on hand feeding for extended periods.In July, a higher percentage of Queensland wool than WA wool measured  micron or less and for four months the hardest hit by drought, produced more fine wool than  dry year also meant more dust and burrs in the wool, so AWTA statistics showed only August, September and October as months where clean wool yields were better than corresponding months of the previous year.

The AWTA statistics confirmed what most WA woolgrowers already knew or suspected - they worked harder, paid out more and generally got less wool for their trouble in 2019.Apart from a lucky few on one particular day, they also did not get paid the record, or near-record prices of the previous year for their wool.So 2019 tended to lack the excitement and sense of anticipation generated by record prices being set and then reset at live auctions, as had happened in the previous two years.

But Australian Wool Exchange statistics show two micron price guide records were, in fact, set at the Western Wool Centre  cents per kilogram clean for 21 micron wool and  micron wool.That made maintaining flock numbers, often bolstered by previous good seasons and buoyant wool prices, hard work and often harder still to justify economically, as drought over east sucked feed grains and hay out of WA at a great rate and bumped up prices of what was left.It also affected wool cut, with Australian Wool Testing Authority  statistics showing January, July and October as the only months in 2019 where bale numbers tested at its.

Bibra Lake laboratory exceeded those of the previous year.Average wool fibre diameter declined most months or remained the same as the previous year, with only June, August and September showing a micron gain, according to AWTA.As a result, WA's wool clip in 2019 continued an ongoing trend of becoming finer each year, with more than two thirds of the wool produced in the State in  measuring  micron or finer, according to AWTA.There was 10 per cent more fine wool in the WA clip than in the national clip and only New South Wales and Queensland drought wools averaged finer and then for only some months of the year.

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