AFTER a substantial decline in wool tests in August, the number of wool tests conducted in Western Australia last month returned to levels slightly above the corresponding month last year.
Australian Wool Testing Authority (AWTA) September statistics showed it tested 27,586 bales in WA, a 1.3 per cent improvement on the number of tests the previous September.
This was a significant testing turnaround from August when AWTA only tested 16,545 bales and that was down 31.7pc on the previous August.
But spring shearing is obviously further advanced in the two bigger wool producing states, New South Wales and Victoria, with 43,525 and 51,119 bales tested there last month, year-on-year increases of 16.2pc and 10pc respectively.
The reduced August testing rate means that so far, this season's testing in WA still trails last season's.
In the July-September period AWTA tested 55,031 bales in WA, down 8321 bales or 13.1pc on the same period last year.
Testing in NSW and Victoria over the same period was also down, but by reduced amounts at 7.5pc and 5.8pc respectively.
The September test results showed average WA wool yield slipped slightly to 62.2pc, compared to the national average which gained 1pc to 64.1pc, year-on-year.
There was slightly less vegetable matter contaminating WA wool in September when compared to the previous year and the average WA wool remained unchanged at 19.1 micron, compared to 20.2 micron as the national average.
Average staple length of WA wool tested in September was 89 millimetres, 1.5mm longer than the average for the previous September, but still 1.8mm and 5.2mm shorter than the average NSW and Victorian wool staple lengths in September.
WA's wool clip easily remained Australia's finest during September with 66.3pc tested as Superfine wool at 19.5 microns or less.
The national clip average was 52.9pc Superfine.