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Australia is one of the world’s largest wool producers, producing around 25 per cent of greasy wool sold on the world market. The value of Australian wool exports in 2016-17 is estimated to be around $3.615 billion; this reflects the continuing strong global demand for Australia’s wool, which is regarded as among the world’s best.
Wool is produced in all Australian states except the Northern Territory. New South Wales produces the greatest volume of wool, followed by Victoria, Western Australia and South Australia. In 2016-17, it is estimated that over 74.3 million sheep were shorn in Australia.
The industry services body for the Australian wool industry is Australian Wool Innovation (AWI), a not-for-profit company that invests in research, development, marketing and promotion for the wool industry to increase the long-term profitability of Australian woolgrowers. AWI is funded by farmer levies, with matching research and development funds from the Australian Government.
Statistics and information
- Detailed statistics and information about the Australian wool industry are available from Australian Wool Innovation. This includes data on prices, production, exports and outlooks for the industry.
- The Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES) produce detailed data about the wool industry through quarterly Agricultural Commodities forecasts and publications. They are available at ABARES Publications for viewing and download.
The wool levy
The wool levy and export charge funds Australian Wool Innovation Pty Ltd (AWI) research and development (R&D). Levy is payable on all shorn wool produced in Australia and sold or used in the production of other goods. The producer (the person who owns the wool immediately after it is removed from the sheep or lamb) is liable to pay the levy. More information about the levy investment can be found at Australian Wool Innovation, or on the department’s levies and wool levies page.
Wool is classified as a biological import. Information about importing wool can be found on the importing biological products section.
Wool exports are covered by non-prescribed goods certification under the Export Control Act 1982, further information on exporting wool can be found at the Exporting non-prescribed goods section of the website.
Other organisations that represent interests in the Australian Wool Industry include: Australian Superfine Wool Growers (ASWG), Wool Producers Australia (WPA), Australian Woolgrowers Association (AWGA), Australian Wool Exchange (AWEX), Australian Wool Testing Authority (AWTA).
Any other enquiries about the domestic wool industry can be directed by email to Animal Products and Food Markets or Call 1800 900 090.