Goats make a buck as prices soar in 2015

18 December 2015

Australian over-the-hook goat indicators remained at record levels during 2015, assisted by strong international demand, a lower A$ and tighter supplies over the winter months.

The A$ has fallen to its lowest point in five years, dropping below 70US¢ in October 2015, which has supported Australian goat meat exports and boosted returns. Eastern states over-the-hook goat indicators, reported by MLA’s NLRS, have continued on an upward trajectory throughout 2015,  with the 12.1-16kg cwt goat indicator 39%, or 141¢, higher year-on-year in December, averaging 504¢/kg cwt for the month.  

Australian goat slaughter for 2015-to-date (January to October) reached 1.75 million head – relatively unchanged on the corresponding period last year (Australian Bureau of Statistics). Goat slaughter in Victoria was 8% higher year-on-year for the ten month period, to 791,435 head, offsetting declines in Queensland (down 3%, to 614,724 head), SA (down 17%, to 232,620 head) and NSW (down 1%, to 93,177 head). Interestingly, in WA, the number of goats processed during January to October jumped 65% year-on-year, to 15,564 head.

Australian goat production eased 2% on year-ago levels, for the January to October period, to 26,545 tonnes cwt, with the increase in Victorian production not enough to offset the declines in Queensland, NSW and SA.

Despite solid demand from international markets, lower production saw Australian goatmeat exports decline 17% year-on-year, 27,100 tonnes swt for the year-to-November (Department of Agriculture). More than half (58%) of Australia’s total goat meat exports were shipped to the US (15,722 tonnes swt) during the 11 month period, although down 10% year-on-year. Export volumes to Taiwan (3,455 tonnes swt), the Caribbean (1,929 tonnes swt), and Canada (1,509 tonnes swt) were 27%, 15% and 27% lower year-on-year, respectively.

Live goat exports increased 3% year-on-year, reaching 69,800 head for the year-to-September (ABS). The majority of Australia’s live goat exports are destined for Malaysia, accounting for 94% of the total in 2015 so far.

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