Australian wool exports have fallen 17 per cent in the first half of this year due to buyers having difficulty sourcing enough wool, industry chiefs admitted on Thursday.

The Woolmark Company said in the six months to June, wool exports to China, Italy and India fell to about540,000 tonnes, although it emphasized the value of those exports only dropped six per cent.

Its chief economist, Chris Wilcox, said Australia's wool exports are now worth A$3.4 billion, but the critical factor is a lack of wool.

"We've had a big drop in production in 2001/2002 and certainly over the past 10 years, but we also sold off the remainder of the stockpile very early in the season," he said.

"Compared with any other year in the last 10 years, we just did not have the supply anywhere near the levels. And as a result even though the world might have wanted to buy more wool, we just couldn't supply it."