Wool industry facts

Page last updated: Tuesday, 21 July 2020 - 10:55am

Please note: This content may be out of date and is currently under review.

Western Australia has aproximately 14.7 million sheep  run by over 4500 sheep producers. They are mostly located in the agricultural region of the state producing high quality, fine Merino wool. The state is internationally cost competitive in wool production, handling and delivery.

  • The wool industry in Western Australia (WA) had a gross value of $826 million in 2016/17, 60% of the total contribution of the sheep industry.
  • There are 14.7 million sheep and lambs in Western Australia (2017- figure has been adjusted to account for ABS changes in scope) including 7.8 million breeding ewes. They are mostly co-located in the cropping regions across southern WA, with some grazing in adjacent rangelands.
  • Western Australia produced 71 million kilograms of greasy wool in 2016/17. Over 95% is Merino wool measuring less than 24.5 micron, and so destined for apparel. In 2016/17, fine wool of 19.5 micron or less made up 41% of the 'clip' (total amount shorn).
  • The entire Western Australian wool clip is exported or transported interstate. Around 83% of the wool exports go to China with India (8%) and the Czech Republic (4%) the next most important destinations on a value basis (2016/17).
  • Our state is internationally cost competitive in wool production, handling and delivery. The local sheep industry maintains world class animal health and welfare standards.

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Kate Pritchett