Goat slaughter begins to lift, while prices remain at a record

26 July 2016

The past two weeks have seen goat slaughter levels track higher, after wet conditions impacted the harvest and transportation of goats through June and early July. Eastern states goat slaughter totalled 32,251 head, up nearly 10,000 head week-on-week.

Goat slaughter typically begins its descent in May, slipping below 10,000 head for a few weeks in June, although the dry conditions of 2013 and 2014 resulted in an unusually high pattern of slaughter over that time. The tightening of supply was more prominent this year, largely due to the wetter conditions and previous extended period of high slaughter having an impact on numbers in paddocks and rangelands.

Goat prices remain at record highs, with 12-16kg cwt goats averaging 574¢/kg cwt currently. These prices have been seemingly unaffected by market fluctuations over the last two years due to additional Australian processing facilities and growing demand for the end product, both in Australia and overseas.

The positive price point for goats is expected to continue, as processing facilities are looking for supply, with the hope that the good returns entice more producers to develop or enhance a goat farming enterprise.

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