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Australian wool industry - is it all doom and gloom?

Posted by Robert Herrmann on 10 December 2015

In his iconic 1975 song “Slip sliding away”, Paul Simon most certainly wasn’t talking about the merino sheep industry. However, the lyrics could easily relate to the direction that flock numbers and wool production has taken, especially since the 1990s.

Analysis: Has Merino wool production stopped falling?

In fact, this trend isn’t confined to Australia: the number of sheep worldwide have also fallen over this period.

Usually, the cause of such a decline would be readily understood: low prices, diminished demand, or a combination of the two are the usual culprits.

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Topics: Wool market / wool price, Flock size, Wool industry

Where will the wool industry be in 25 years?

Posted by Robert Herrmann on 7 October 2015

Undoubtedly, my career is almost entirely connected one way or the other to the Australian wool industry. However, it’s a sad indictment that, over this time, it has steadily declined in production.

From a peak in the late 1980s of 175 million sheep to the current flock size of 70 million (figure 1), it is hard not to arrive at the conclusion that this decline resembles a disaster for the wool industry. The bottom line is that farmers have ‘voted with their sheep’ to exit wool production and get into the business of growing food – be that grains or meat.

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Topics: Flock size, Australian wool industry

Sheep numbers down, outlook up, up?

Posted by Robert Herrmann on 16 July 2015

Sheep meat demand has a rosy forecast, while wool is also showing optimism after a period of struggle. On the supply side, world sheep numbers from the major wool and meat producing countries since 1990 have fallen, with falls ranging from 67% in Uruguay to just 3% in South Africa.When looking at the market outlook for any commodity, but especially agricultural commodities; taking account of projected supply & demand and assessing price risk is a good starting point.

This then leaves the question of market risk.

"High prices correct high prices"

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Topics: Sheepmeat market, Wool market / wool price, Flock size

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