Over-the-hook goat indicators soar into 2017

24 January 2017

Since 2013, over-the-hook goat indicators have been on a steady upward trajectory. In the last 12 months alone, the 12.1-16kg cwt over-the-hook goat indicator has jumped 101¢ – from an average of 511¢ in January 2016, to 612¢/kg cwt for January 2017-to-date – with top quotes of 700¢/kg cwt. As the supply of goats in Australia is very volatile on a month-to-month basis, due to rangeland goat harvest being largely weather dependent, the continual rise in prices clearly demonstrates strengthening demand for Australian goatmeat.

Below average rainfall across much of southern and eastern Australia in the last month of spring saw national goat slaughter reach 204,169 head in November (latest available ABS data) – 20% higher than the same time last year. This was driven largely by a surge in goats processed in Victoria, up 47% to 120,428 head, and a 21% jump in SA, to 28,626 head. These southern states, along with a 10% rise in WA goat slaughter (9,325 head), more than offset declines registered in Queensland and NSW in November – down 19% and 6%, to 38,473 head and 7,312 head, respectively.

This brought the year-to-November national goat slaughter total to 1.74 million head – 9% lower than the previous year.

The volume of goatmeat produced for the month increased to a greater extent than slaughter, up 28% year-on-year to 3,481 tonnes cwt – indicative of heavier carcases being processed. This was in fact the largest production month since October 2015. For the January to November period, goatmeat production was 7% lower than the year before, at 27,122 tonnes cwt.

So far in the New Year, MLA’s NLRS reported eastern states goat slaughter has averaged almost 33,700 head per week for January-to-date. This is 16% lower than the January 2016 average of just over 39,900 head per week. 

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