Goat supplies tighten

26 June 2015

Positivity continued to grow for goat producers in June, with eastern states over-the-hook goat prices reported by MLA’s National Livestock Reporting Service (NLRS) hitting 450¢/kg cwt. Goat rates continued to climb to unprecedented levels this year, with many producers capitalising on the strong market.

Eastern states average weekly goat slaughter during May dropped 43%, to 22,082 head, and with the exception of short trading weeks, is the lowest level since March 2012. The tight supply was felt across most states, following sustained higher turnoff over the last two years, while NSW weekly slaughter was similar year-on-year, at 2,498 head. SA, Queensland and Victoria all reported declines in average weekly slaughter of between 45% and 48%, to 3,884 head, 9,685 head and 6,015 head, respectively.

Eastern states goat slaughter in the first week of June totalled just 7,690 head – the lowest level since June 2007, excluding short weeks and public holidays. The tighter supplies saw some processing facilities close earlier than usual for their annual maintenance breaks.

In line with fewer goats processed, Australian goatmeat exports during May dropped 44% year-on-year, to 1,764 tonnes swt – the lowest volume since June 2013 (Department of Agriculture). Shipments to the US were 984 tonnes swt, down 40% year-on-year, while volumes to Trinidad and Tobago and Canada lifted 23% and 27%, respectively, to 176 tonnes swt and 81 tonnes swt. In contrast, exports to Hong Kong eased 68%, to 213 tonnes swt.

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