Goat Central

Australian goat meat production highest ever in early 2024

Sheep Central, May 27, 2024

MORE than 750,000 goats were processed in Australia in the first quarter 2024, yielding a record 11,777 tonnes of meat.

MLA market information manager Steve Bignell said Australian Bureau of Statistics data showed that in the three months to 31 March 2024, there were more goats processed than ever before in Australia.

“Goat slaughter, including kids, for the quarter totalled 754,141, which is the first time the number of goats processed in a single quarter exceeded 750,000.

“The increase in national goat processing capacity can be observed in these numbers,” he said.

“Goat processing in NSW has jumped 4787 percent since March 2022, largely thanks to the reopening of the Bourke processing plant.

“As numbers being processed in NSW grow, the state is closing in on Queensland for the title of second biggest goat producing state behind Victoria,” Mr Bignell said.

“The new record for goat slaughter, set in Q1 2024, was 5.4pc higher than the previous record of 715,745 goats processed during Q1 of 2017.”

Mr Bignell said 11,777 tonnes of goat meat produced in the first three months of 2024 topped the previous record from Q1 2017 of 11,335 tonnes.

He said average goat carcase weights have remained between 15kg and 16kg for the fifth consecutive quarter.

“Queensland goats averaged 16.6kg/head for the quarters – the heaviest of any state by nearly 1kg.”

He said the record goat production and slaughter has occurred when lamb production is also simultaneously at record levels.

“In Q1 2024, nearly 7 million lambs were slaughtered, and mutton production also remained relatively high.

“Given Australia is the largest exporter of both sheep meat and goat meat, there is ample supply of goat and sheep meat globally,” Mr Bignell said.

“This is partially behind subdued sheep, lamb, and goat livestock prices.

“Positively, the record goat production volumes means there has never been as much goat meat available in both the domestic and international markets,” he said.

“This provides consumers across the world a great opportunity to try goat meat.”

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  1. Andrew Brewer, May 28, 2024

    When will we start separating rangeland goat numbers from production-bred animals to get an understanding and an appreciation of the difference in eating quality, carcase yield and to recognise the effort and dedication to the breeding of quality goat meat?

    It is frustrating for the goat breeders who produce such a quality article just to have the numbers and carcase values mashed together with feral, wild-caught statistics that should reflect two different sources and products. It forces producers to find niche markets for their meat and holds it back from being a mainstream protein source in Australia. This is one of very few markets that does this, and we are missing an opportunity to not only reward the breeders but to identify the industry for what it is; two separate products from two different production systems.

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