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Goat production the G.O.A.T (greatest of all time)

23 May 2024

Key points:

  • Over 750,000 goats were processed in Australia in the first quarter (Q1) of 2024.
  • Record goatmeat production totalling 11,777 tonnes was achieved in Q1 of 2024.
  • Record goat production has coincided with record lamb production.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) recently released their official production and slaughter figures for the first quarter of 2024.

The ABS data showed that in the three months to 31 March 2024, there were more goats processed than ever before in Australia. Goat slaughter, including kids, for the quarter totalled 754,141, which is the first time the number of goats processed in a single quarter exceeded 750,000.

The increase in national goat processing capacity can be observed in these numbers. Goat processing in NSW has jumped 4,787% since March 2022, largely thanks to the reopening of the Bourke processing plant. As numbers being processed in NSW grow, the state is closing in on Queensland for the title of second biggest goat producing state behind Victoria.

The new record for goat slaughter, set in Q1 2024, was 5.4% higher than the previous record of 715,745 goats processed during Q1 of 2017.

The record slaughter also translated to record goatmeat production. The industry saw a new record set for goat meat produced across the first three months of 2024, with a total of 11,777 tonnes of goat meat. This tops the previous record from Q1 2017 of 11,335 tonnes of goat meat produced.

The average carcase weights have remained between 15kg and 16kg for the fifth consecutive quarter. Queensland goats averaged 16.6kg/head for the quarters – the heaviest of any state by nearly 1kg.

The record goat production and slaughter has occurred when lamb production is also simultaneously at record levels. In Q1 2024 nearly 7 million lambs were slaughtered, and mutton production also remained relatively high.

Given Australia is the largest exporter of both sheepmeat and goatmeat, there is ample supply of goat and sheepmeat globally. This is partially behind subdued sheep, lamb, and goat livestock prices.

Positively, the record goat production volumes means there has never been as much goatmeat available in both the domestic and international markets. This provides consumers across the world a great opportunity to try goatmeat.