PRE-AUCTION wool bale test numbers plunged 31.7 per cent year-on-year last month in Western Australia, the biggest testing drop of any State.
According to Australian Wool Testing Authority (AWTA) statistics released last week, 16,546 bales were tested in WA last month compared to 24,209 in August last year.
The national August total of 98,176 wool tests was down 20.5pc year-on-year and the next biggest State declines in wool tests were 22pc in New South Wales and 20.1pc in Victoria.
In June and July the number of bales tested in WA had declined less than in other States - the July testing decline was just 8.5pc - but last month WA caught up and surpassed other States with the drop in wool volumes being tested before being put up for auction.
So far this wool season - July and August - the number of bales tested in WA is down 24pc, to 27,445, when compared to the same period last season.
This is the biggest two-month testing decline in Australia this season, with the national total comparison down 18.2pc to 174,121 bales.
But in August WA sheep produced better yielding wool than South Australian sheep - 60.8pc compared to 60.4pc average yield - and with less vegetable matter contamination too.
In previous months WA's sheep flock had on average yielded less wool than other flocks in Australia.
The average fibre diameter of WA wool remained stable at 19.2 microns when compared to August last year and was only down marginally on the 19.5 micron average for July.
National average wool fibre diameter was 20.2 microns and WA continued to produce the finest wool clip in Australia with 63.1pc of it declared Superfine at 19.5 microns or finer.
The national clip portion declared as Superfine last month was 54.2pc.
Average WA wools were 1.2 millimetres longer - with an average staple length of 86.8mm - and marginally stronger at 33.9N/kt last month, when compared to August last year.