A REPORT funded by Australian Wool Innovation (AWI) has found that Western Australian sheep prices would drop by more than 66 per cent if the live sheep trade folded.
AWI commissioned the Centre for International Economics to produce the report in response to significant debate over the contribution of live trade to the Australian economy in recent years.
The report found that WA had the most to lose if the live export trade ended, with a potential drop of $32 per head for lambs or a fall in the saleyard price of 35.1pc, while sheep would see a $36 per head drop in price or a fall of 66.2pc.
The eastern States, in comparison, would see a drop of only $1.24 a head (1.4pc) for lambs or $5.96 (24.4pc) for sheep.
The average saleyard price across Australia would fall by 4.5pc for lambs and 24.4pc for sheep.
The report said wool production would also be impacted if there was no live sheep trade.
The national sheep flock would fall by between 3.5 per cent (or 2 million head) relative to 2011-12 levels, and the national wool clip could fall by 7.9 million kilograms greasy.
WA, again, would be impacted heavily in terms of sheep flock numbers and wool production.
The report predicted the WA sheep flock would drop by between 10.2 and 15.1pc and wool production would fall by 12pc.
These falls would contribute to a gross value of production drop of $302 million for WA woolgrowers compared to 2012.
*More in next week’s Farm Weekly.