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Record goat slaughter and production for 2023

01 March 2024

Key points:

  • Goat slaughter increased by 41% and production increased by 30%.
  • Goat export volumes increased, driven by favourable pricing supported by zero tarriffs .
  • Carcase weights fluctuated in 2023, leading to an average decrease due to a broader weight range of goats being processed.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) released its official quarterly statistics on livestock slaughter and meat production on 20 February 2024, providing insights into the livestock industry for the 2023 calendar year.

Slaughter and production

In 2023, goat slaughter and production reached its highest levels, with a 41% increase in slaughter to 2,358,430 head, compared to 2022. Victoria contributed 47% to total slaughter, processing 1,097,406 head in 2023. Similarly, production increased by 30% to 28,463 tonnes compared to 2022, indicating a steady supply of goats and a robust goat population supporting record levels of production and slaughter.

Carcase weight

Carcase weights exhibited significant fluctuation, ranging from 14kg/head to 17kg/head. In 2023, the average carcase weight decreased by 1.3kg/head to 15.63kg. This was expected due to the record levels of slaughter and production, driven by a wider weight range of goats being processed.

Live export

Export volumes surged to 18,356 head in 2023, marking the second-largest volume over the past five years, with an increase of 13,487 head. China emerged as the second-largest Australian export market, importing 2,308 tonnes of goat meat. This growth was fuelled by favourable pricing and supported by zero tariffs under the China-Australia Free Trade Agreement.

For additional insights into cattle and sheep slaughter and production figures, refer to Quarterly production and slaughter volumes which provides quarterly, yearly and five-year average comparisons based on the most recent ABS figures.