WOOL test bale numbers increased by 5.3pc last month in Western Australia, but it was by far the smallest increase in monthly wool tests across Australia.
Australian Wool Testing Authority (AWTA) said it tested 32,244 bales at its Bibra Lake laboratory and testing stations located in some WA woolstores in January, compared to 30,615 tested in January last year.
The WA 5.3pc January increase in the number of bales tested fell well behind the national bale test average increase for January of 24.2pc.
In the two bigger wool producing States, Victoria and New South Wales, the number of bales tested in January was up 23.9pc and 34.2pc respectively on January last year.
For the season so far - beginning of July to the end of January - wool test numbers in WA have slipped 1.1pc to 195,535 bales when compared to the same period last season.
However wool test numbers went up in every other State - up by 2.3pc and 4.7pc respectively in Victoria and New South Wales - in the first seven months of the season.
South Australia, which is the next biggest wool producing State behind WA, saw a wool tests increase of 5.4pc in the first seven months over last season.
Similarly to January wool test numbers, the average yield of WA wool tested in January was a 0.5pc improvement on the January average last year, but it was only one third the January yield improvement seen in NSW and was also easily bettered by yield gains in Victoria and SA, according to AWTA's monthly statistics.
So far this season there has been no average yield gain in WA wools, while the national average yield gain is 0.9pc.
Average WA wool fibre diameter tested in January was down 0.5 micron to 19.4 micron, taking the average WA micron so far this season down 0.3pc, also to 19.4 micron.
Average January fibre diameter was down 0.3 micron in both Victoria and NSW, to 22.7 micron and 20.9 micron respectively, while the 21.6 average micron so far this season for Victorian wool is the same as last season and 20.4 micron in NSW is down 0.2pc on last season.
Unfortunately, with wool buyers currently supporting very consistent specification wools, the degree of variation in fibre diameter, staple length and staple strength of WA wools tested increased in January, while they improved, remained the same or increased by a smaller margin in wools tested in Victoria, NSW and South Australia.
Across the season so far AWTA statistics tell a similar story, with average wools from Victoria, NSW and South Australia generally proving more consistent in fibre diameter, length and strength than WA wools.
The average staple length of WA wools shrank by two millimetres in January to 89.8mm, when compared to the previous January, and for the season so far it is down 1.5mm to 89.9mm, while staple lengths across the rest of Australia have grown between 0.7mm and 3.3mm.
The percentage of WA's wool clip assessed as Superfine at 19.5 micron or finer, so far this season has increased 9.6pc to 63.5pc.
The Superfine average as part of the national clip is up 0.6pc to 51.3pc.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.