Know the numbers: goat prices and exports

14 November 2017

Key points

  • Driven by international demand, the Australian goat over-the-hooks indicators peaked in July this year, before dropping during the last 3 months averaging 470c/kg cwt for October
  • year-to-October exports were 20% higher from 2016 levels, underpinned by increases across the US, Taiwan, Canada and South Korea
  • goat supply expected to remain steady into the future.

The goat market has eased in recent months, following a consistent rise to record highs for the most part of the last four years. Over-the-hook indicators dropped from a peak of 647c/kg cwt at the end of July to 457c/kg  in late August. Since then, prices have remained close to but below 500c/kg cwt – averaging 470c/kg cwt for the month of October, back 20% on the same period in 2016.

The historic rise in price can be attributed to overseas demand outstripping supply – as almost all of Australia’s goat meat is destined for export. However, the subsequent price correction arose partly as a result of the rising A$ - which reached US80c earlier in the year.

Meanwhile, supply has remained reasonably steady. Eastern states goat slaughter totalled almost 127,000 head for the month of October, back 3% from 2016.

Consequently, exports for the month of October also decreased, dropping 5% year-on-year to 1,891 tonnes shipped weight (swt). For the year-to-date (Jan-Oct), Australian goat meat exports totalled just over 25,051 tonnes swt, an increase of 20% on the same period in 2016.

Exports to the US, Australia’s largest market for goat meat, increased by 20% for the year-to-date, equating to 16,840 tonnes swt. Other large markets, Taiwan, Canada and South Korea also saw marked increases from last year, of 24%, 97% and 40% respectively.

Going forward, goat supply is expected to remain relatively stable, with populations increasing slightly. Number of goats on-property is the primary driver of a producer’s decision to harvest rangeland goats and in a survey conducted by NSW DPI, a majority of producers identified that they anticipated turning off a similar number of goats year-on-year. International demand is expected to remain strong, given strong economic growth in many markets and the easing Australian dollar.

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