Australia’s Wool Exports Reflect Strong Global Demand


As one of the world’s largest wool producers, Australia produces around 25% of the world’s greasy wool every year. The value of Australian wool exports in 2016-17 is estimated to hit the AD$3 billion mark, as reported by the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources of Australia. The strong performance of Australia’s wool exports also reflects the increasing demand for quality wool in the global textile and apparel market.


According to a report from the Australian Council of Wool Exporters and Processors, Australia exported 154 million kgs of wool valued at AD$1462 million for the period of July to December 2016, representing a 7.25% year on year increase from the same period in the last financial year in terms of volume, and 11.6% growth in terms of value. Based on this six-month figure, the total value of Australia’s wool exports is very much likely to surpass the AD$3 billion mark by the end 2016-17.


The growth of Australia’s wool export is believed to be in line with the increasing wool production, as the Australian Wool Production Forecasting Committee (AWPFC) reported that Australia’s shorn wool production is expected to grow to 332 million kilograms (mkg) greasy in the 2016-17 financial year, representing a 2.2% increase from its previous season.


In Australia, wool is produced in all states except the Northern Territory. New South Wales produces the highest volume of wool, followed by Victoria, Western Australia and South Australia. Wool producers have maintained Australia’s reputation as a world leading producer and dominant exporter of wool. It is estimated that over 70 million sheep were shorn in Australia every year, with the majority of exports going to Europe and China.


Currently, China is the largest market for Australia’s wool exports. The data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABC) shows that $1.11 billion worth of Australia’s wool was exported to China in the first half of financial year 2016-17, increasing by 19% from the same period last year. This export value is also representing an all-time high in terms of volumes for the first six months in the history of exporting wool to China.


When it comes to volumes, wool export to China made up over 77% of total Australian wool exports in the first half of 2016-17, representing a 13% increase. Apart from the other traditional major markets for Australian wool exports, such as India and Italy, exports to South Africa had the most prominent growth in the first half of this financial year, soaring 485% from 34,968kg to 204,856kg.


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