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Volume and Trends

Wool Production & Measurement Trends

AWTA's database contains extensive information for the number of bales tested, the weight of wool tested and associated objective measurements. As almost every lot of wool sold in Australia is certified for Yield and Fibre Diameter before sale, and because the certification services available since 1991/92 have been solely provided by AWTA, this data correlates closely to the production of wool in Australia.

The AWTA's database contains extensive data on the number of bales, weight of wool tested and objective measurements.
 

Wool Production by Statistical Area

AWTA’s testing database contains extensive information on the origin of wools sampled and the region in which the wool was grown. The sample location is identified by AWTA Sampling officers as part of the certification of sale lots, whilst the region in which the wool is grown (known as Wool Statistical Area – WSA) is declared to AWTA by the Broker/Seller. The image below shows the annual change in WSA based wool production since 1991.

 WSA GIF 1991 to current 

AWTA’s Key Test Data (KTD) reporting is based on the sample location whereas the data summarised in this section of the website looks at WSA based production. Though the overall comparison of KTD and WSA production levels are consistent, there are slight differences in the figures of each State due mainly to:

  • WSA information not being provided by the seller
  • The handling and marketing approaches of sellers, whereby wool grown in one area is transported for storage and sale in another state

This data is the basis for the following analysis of trends in wool production.

WSA Production Maps

Displayed below are maps showing the tested wool production within each state by WSA for the last season. Colour graduations are used to show the relative changes in wool production in each area; the darker the colour the greater the amount of wool.

Click on the link below each map to open a detailled report into the WSA based wool production in each state for the past two seasons. Differences in production levels are shown along with the weight of Bulk Classed (BC) and Interlotted (IL) wool. Quantities reported as Not Available (NA) represent bales sold without a WSA declared.

NSW15 VIC15
 Wool Statistical Area NSWPDF  Wool Statistical Area VICPDF
WA15 SA15
 Wool Statistical Area WA PDF  Wool Statistical Area SAPDF
TAS QLD
 Wool Statistical Area TAS PDF

 Wool Statistical Area QLD PDF

Year-on-Year Comparison by State & WSA

The following charts show the volume of wool tested from each State for the current and previous selling seasons across each Wool Statistical Area (WSA) and the % change from season to season.

 National Production by WSA

Download a more detailled comparison: WSA vs KTD ComparisonPDF

 

Fibre Diameter

Mean Fibre diameter (Micron) is the single most important measurement used to determine the value of raw wool. The measurement is expressed in micrometres (microns) and refers to the average diameter of fibres in a sale lot. In general terms, the finer the wool the more it is worth. This relationship has led to a lowering of the average fibre diameter over recent seasons, with the proportion of fine wool (ie. <19.5 micron) increasing as a total percentage of the wool produced each year.

AWTA's testing database contains extensive data on the range and distribution of fibre diameter measurements conducted on the Australian Wool clip since 1991/92. The seasonal changes in the micron profile and related production trends are provided for download below.

Trends in Mean Fibre Diameter

 Wool Production in Micron Bands

 

Download the full Micron Trends report: Trends Within Micron RangePDF

Micron Profiles

The animated GIF below illustrates the progressive changes to the micron profile of the Australian Wool clip since 1992/93.

The most noticable change is the significant increase in the proportion of fine wool (<19.5µ) and crossbred wools (26-30µ) since 2000/01 which is refelcted by the bi-modal distribution.

Micron Profile 1992-2015

Download the full Micron Profile Report: Micron ProfilesPDF

 

Yield and Vegetable Matter

Vegetable matter (VM) is one of the most important wool contaminants encountered by buyers and processors of Australian wool. At a conservative estimate, the Australian wool clip each season contains some 10 million kilograms of VM. While many VM types can be readily removed by machinery during processing, the overall cost of obtaining clean wool fibre is a key consideration in the value of the raw product. The amount of VM directly influences the Clean Fibre Yield which can be obtained after processing, whilst the amount and type of VM affect the method, speed and cost of processing.

The annual Yield Trend report provided here contains year-on-year analysis of yield levels and vegetable matter content. The data used is derived from the presale certificates issued for Yield and Fibre Diameter on greasy wool.

Comparison of Weight of Wool Tested (nett tonnes)

 Chg Wt tested 2016
 Prog Dist Tested Weight 2016
 Dist Tested Weight 2016

The full report summarises the following key information:

  • Progressive weight tested
  • Comparison of the weight of wool tested month by month
  • Distribution of tested weight across each month of the season
  • The raw data used to present these figures

To find out more, download the full report:

Yield Trend ReportPDF

 

Staple Length & Strength

One of the most important characteristics for determining the value of greasy wool is the average fibre length that will be achieved when the wool has been processed or combed into wool top. This length is known as the Hauteur (fibre length in the Wool Top). In addition, the average strength of staples is important in assessing how well the wool will perform during processing. Research has shown that Hauteur is closely correlated with the average Staple Length and Staple Strength of the greasy wool measured prior to processing..

AWTA's testing database contains extensive data on the range and distribution of wool staple measurements conducted on the Australian Wool clip since 1991/92. The seasonal changes in the mean staple length, staple strength and predicted hauteur are provided below.

Trends in Mean Staple Measurements

 

 Hauteur
 Length
 Strength

 

The Finest Certified Tests Measured by AWTA

Australia is renowned for producing the world's best merino apparel wool. Premiums exist for bales of wool with the lowest fibre diameter or 'finest Micron'. There is competition among specialist producers of fine wool to hold or break the record for the finest bale.

The table below is an historical list of the finest sale lots tested and certified by AWTA Ltd. Whilst there may be others that have achieved the same mean fibre diameter (MFD), the lots listed here were the first to be measured at the respective micron values.

Tested

Laboratory

Brand

MFDµ

Method

Nov-11

Melbourne

HIGHLANDER ULTRAFINE

11.1

L

Jun-11

Melbourne

PYRENEES PARK

11.2

O

Dec-09

Melbourne

HIGHLANDER ULTRAFINE

11.4

L

Nov-08

Sydney

HIGHLANDER ULTRAFINE

11.5

L

May-05

Sydney

HIGHLANDER ULTRAFINE

11.6

L

Mar-06

Melbourne

KADINIA/BRIM

11.7

L

Nov-04

Melbourne

WOOL FACTORY/HORSHAM

11.8

O

Feb-04

Sydney

PRIMERINO

11.9

O

Feb-03

Melbourne

NERRAWAK

12.0

O

Apr-02

Sydney

HIGHLANDER ULTRFINE

12.1

O

Jan-02

Melbourne

NERRAWAK

12.5

O

Apr-01

Sydney

HIGHLANDER ULTRFINE

12.9

O

Mar-00

Melbourne

KARROO

13.2

A

Mar-98

Melbourne

WOOL FACTORY/HORSHAM

13.3

A

Nov-97

Melbourne

WOOL FACTORY/HORSHAM

13.4

A

May-96

Melbourne

WOOL FACTORY/HORSHAM

13.5

A

Mar-95

Melbourne

KADINIA/BRIM

13.7

A

Dec-94

Melbourne

KADINIA/BRIM #

13.8

A

Jan-93

Melbourne

KADINIA/BRIM

14.3

A

Jan-92

Melbourne

KADINIA/BRIM

14.5

A


# Now known as the "Million Dollar Bale"Note: Methods are:
(L) Sirolan Lasercsan - introduced from July 2000
(O) Optical Fibre Diameter Analyser (OFDA)
(A) Airflow meter (replaced by Laserscan)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One of the most important characteristics for determining the value of greasy wool is the average fibre length that will be achieved when the wool has been processed or combed into wool top. This length is known as the Hauteur (fibre length in the Wool Top). In addition, the average strength of staples is important in assessing how well the wool will perform during processing. Research has shown that Hauteur is closely correlated with the average Staple Length and Staple Strength of the greasy wool measured prior to processing.