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Sheep Producers Intentions Survey highlight challenging times for woolgrowers, particularly in the West

The release of the May 2024 Sheep Producers Intentions Survey (SPIS) points to an ongoing decline in woolgrowers’ confidence in the future of the industry.

WoolProducers CEO, Ms Jo Hall said “the SPIS results are indicating that grower sentiment in the wool industry has declined 24 points, down 37 points from the same time last year.”

“Further, there are projected declines in both the breeding ewe and wether flocks in the coming 12 months with the breeding ewe flock expected to reduce by 9% to 43.51 million head and the wether flock trending down 17% to 7.11 million head – this will have a negative impact on the national wool clip.”

The May 2024 SPIS survey had a total of 2,362 producers across Australia responded during 1 May to 3 June, 2024.

Ms Hall said, “there are a number of reasons for the decline in both wool industry sentiment and forecast flock numbers including continued low prices for wool, increased input costs, seasonal conditions and bad government policies.”

“Out of all production states, Western Australia is reporting the highest forecast decrease over the next 12-months for breeding ewe numbers, which are expected to fall 27%, and an alarming 51% forecast decrease in their wether flock”.

While the SPIS report shows that there is a predicted decline in breeding ewe and wether numbers across all states over the next 12-months, Western Australian forecasts are significantly higher compared to the other states.

“It is absolutely no coincidence that Western Australian producers are predicted to reduce their flock numbers in the face of the unconscionable policy and subsequent passing of legislation of banning the live sheep export trade.”

“This government is removing a viable trade and reducing competition in the sheep industry, making it less viable to raise sheep in the west which in turn will have a national impact on the sheep industry.”

“While proponents of the ban will continue to say that it doesn’t come into effect until 2028, what they won’t acknowledge is the immediate and material negative impact that this decision has had on confidence of the industry, which has now been proved through this SPIS.”

“The Labor government should hang their heads in shame.” Ms Hall said.

The SPIS is conducted three times a year, by MLA and AWI to collect industry data and sheep production expectations and to better gauge nation flock breed composition on a national and state basis to allow the supply chain to determine short-term supply estimates.

The May 2024 Report can be accessed here: spis---06-may-2024---final-report.pdf (



WoolProducers Australia contacts:

Jo Hall                                                                                              Steve Harrison

CEO                                                                                                   President

0488 554 811                                                                                  0427 468 303                                                                          

About WoolProducers’ Australia

WoolProducers plays a critical role in working closely with companies and entities funded by woolgrower funds including compulsory levies or fees for service.

Its mission is to develop constructive and profitable outcomes for woolgrowers nationally.

The agency is responsible for appointing a director to each of the Australian Wool Exchange and the Australia Wool Testing Authority, promoting good corporate governance and ensuring that the interests of growers are met.

WoolProducers maintains a working relationship with Australian Wool Innovation as the voice of woolgrower shareholders. It aims to contribute to AWI’s programs for the benefit of growers, promoting responsible use of levy funds and ensuring good corporate governance.

WoolProducers is the sole wool industry member of Animal Health Australia, and as such, carries a significant responsibility for decision making on behalf of the industry in the event of an emergency animal disease outbreak.

As the only wool grower organisation with membership of the National Farmers’ Federation, WoolProducers is responsible for providing key policy advice on behalf of our members, and other wool growers, to Australia’s peak farm body.

WoolProducers also works closely with the Federal Government Departments on key issues such as animal health and welfare, biosecurity, pest management control, natural resource management, drought preparedness, emergency animal disease outbreak preparedness and industry development, including research, trade and logistics.



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