AUSTRALIA is still the world’s top goat meat exporter despite accounting for only about one per cent of global production after a drop in shipments last year.
Meat & Livestock Australia said the value of Australian goat meat exports was A$145.5 million in 2020, down 38 percent from 2019 levels.
Australian goat production eased for the third year in a row, totalling 16,357 tonnes carcase weight (cwt).
However, this was somewhat offset by an increase in average carcase weights, which lifted 10pc year-on-year, to 15.6kg/head in 2020, MLA said.
According to Food and Agriculture Organisation data, Australia is not a large producer of goat meat globally, but is the biggest player in the global goat meat trade. MLA said Australia exported about 95pc of production in 2020, with exports totalling 14,147 tonnes shipped weight. About 60pc of this went to the United States last year. Taiwan, South Korea, Trinidad and Tobago and Canada are also important markets for Australia, MLA said.
Live goat exports accounted for only 5pc of total export value in 2020, totalling A$5.1 million. MLA said after reaching record levels in 2019, goat over-the-hooks prices remained historically high in 2020, peaking at 917¢/kg cwt in early March and averaging 819¢/kg for the year. Prices stabilised in late May and tracked below year-ago levels for the remainder of 2020.
MLA said a lack of familiarity, price competitiveness and volatile supply remain the key challenges for the industry
Goat meat is widely consumed globally but remains a niche protein in many markets. Per capita consumption of goat meat varies greatly between countries, with culture and local production being major factors influencing diet.
MLA said population growth and increasing household wealth underpin a positive outlook for global red meat consumption, though unfamiliarity and availability of goat meat remain major barriers to new consumers.