Low slaughter drives goat prices

03 October 2018

For the most part of 2018, eastern states goat slaughter has continued to track below both the five-year average and year-ago levels. For the week ending 21 September, there were 16,823 head of goats slaughtered across NSW, Queensland, SA and Victoria – barely 50% of the five-year average during this period.

Year-to-date goat slaughter is down 21%, or 264,397 head, from last year. New South Wales, SA and Victoria have seen the biggest year-on-year declines in slaughter, with 46%, 42% and 23% decreases recorded respectively. For the year-to-date in Queensland, however, there has been a 10%, or 30,148 head, increase from the same period in 2017.

Prices

Goat over-the-hooks indicators have continued their slow but steady increase. This week, the 12–16kg carcase weight (cwt) over-the-hooks indicator rose 8¢/kg cwt from a fortnight ago. At 548¢, it is a 91¢ increase year-on-year; although, there’s still a long way to go to climb back to the heights of July 2017 when the indicator reached 683¢/kg cwt.

Exports

As the majority of Australian goatmeat is destined for international markets, the reduction in slaughter has meant a reduction in exports.

Exports to the US – easily Australia’s biggest trade destination for goatmeat – has seen the biggest decline year-on-year, down more than 400 tonnes shipped weight, or 47%, in August.

Shipments to Australia’s other major goatmeat destinations – Taiwan, Canada and South Korea – were also down considerably in August, at least 50% lower than last year (DAWR).

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