Decline of Australian Merino Wool Industry
The Decline of Australian Merino Wool Industry is fast approaching,unfortunately after 200 hundred years.
In 1890 there were 97,881,221 sheep in Australia most merino and 3,151,355 people. Offical Year Book of The Commonwealth of Australia.No12. - 1919 G.H.Knibbs. ( his nibs ?)Commonwealth Statistician pages 305 and 98.
Today there about one and a half merinos per head of population and going down fast.
In September 2021 Collinsville Merino and Poll Merino Stud, one of the most famous studs in Australia sold 250 merino stud rams for an average of $3,817, sounds very good. one week later, Tattykeel Australian Whites Stud sold in 240 stud rams for an average of $ 17,856, they don't even grow much wool and what they do falls off in the paddock. Other breeds e.g.Poll Dorset and Border Liecester also received higher averages than Collinsville merinos. It looks like the only place to see a merino in the future will be in a museum or the zoo.
Merino wool has been beaten by synthetics which are not as good as merino wool, but cheaper, and that is evidently the most important thing for the industry, and consumers.
When the world's biggest wool processor Qingnan Wen relocates personally to Australia as he is "deeply concerned
Australias wool output is decreasing year by year ". Motive: His scours will be useless without wool, currently he has about 10 scours scouring Australian wool,45 to 50 scours are all that are needed for the entire Australian clip,merino and crossbred.
It is a bit presumptuous of Wen to also say "I want to look into the future in the way we manage our land and sheep, Improve productivity and capacity and scale and be more efficient". Both quotes in The Weekly Times, Agjournal August 2020.
Australian Farmers have been doing all of that for many years,and synthetics have won,by being cheaper,not as good but nobody cares , look at all the wasted effort on the mulesing debate. Contary to constant reference to mulesing and certification on Sheep Central and other media outlets, by Emilo Zegna, Hugo Boss and other manufacturers all whinging and moaning about mulesing it is all nonsense and consumers don't care. If they paid much more for merino, the wool industry would not be in this downward spiral, but there is more money to be made with synthetics.
Meamwhile, Wool Producers Australia is to oversee a new study into the feasibility of expanding Australias early stage processing after securing a $662,000.grant from the Federal Government. Another gravy train waste.
David Michell of Michell Wool, points out there are only three remaining early stage wool processors in Australia, down from 26 in the 1990s,which would be correct.
If we look up page 507 in the book I quoted at the start of this missive, it will be seen in 1912 there were 120 factories with 2544 employees, fellmongering and wool scouring, which had fallen to 98 factories and 2599 employees in 1917, but they scoured approximately 33% of the Australian clip, see page 311.
Also,Australian Wool Innovation, evidently he's about $111 million of reserves to fritter away over the next few years ,which shouldn't be too hard.
Stuart McCullough of A.W.I. Who should have a degree in gravy trains by now, after instigating the "Wool Selling Systems Review " and the "Sheep's back to ship enquiry into cost savings". Both of which accomplished absolutely nothing, as widely predicted.
He has now been appointed in reality.Ambassador for wool to the world at large. This must be the ultimate gravy train .
He is now swanning mainly around Europe and telling as many manufacturers and fashion experts as possible quoting all it's attributes that wool is the best fibre, which everybody knows .
They will all be able to reply. " Quite true Stuart, but synthetics are cheaper".
One more thing that tells me that merino wool growing is almost finished is that I have not seen a comment on the Sheep Central website,from very regular contributor and merino stalwart Peter Small, since the results in The Weekly Times, October 6 2021 of Tallykeel Australian Whites average of I repeat $17,856. I hope you are well Peter.
This could also apply to Chick Olsen and Andrew Farren and several others, perhaps all now growing fat lambs.
(to be continued)