Livestock

Goatmeat exports drop

By Country News

Persistent dry conditions and reduced supply saw Australian goatmeat exports in 2018 decrease to their lowest levels since 2008, according to Meat & Livestock Australia’s most recent Goatmeat Global Snapshot.

The snapshot, which provides insights into the opportunities and challenges for the industry, shows the value of Australian goatmeat exports totalled $182.6million in 2018, down 29 per cent on 2017.

MLA goat industry project manager Julie Petty said despite the decrease in supply and Australia accounting for only one per cent of global production, Australia remained the largest exporter of goatmeat.

‘‘Australia exported approximately 90 per cent of production in 2018, with exports totalling 21026tonnes shipped weight — a decrease of 26 per cent from 2017 levels,’’ Ms Petty said.

‘‘The United States received 68 per cent of our exports, with Taiwan, South Korea, Trinidad and Tobago, and Canada also representing important markets.

‘‘As a result of tough seasonal conditions combined with a seven per cent year-on-year fall in average carcase weights in 2018, Australian goat production last year totalled 23388tonnes carcase weight (cwt), 26 per cent lower than 2017 figures, while goat slaughter fell by 20 per cent year-on-year to 1.65million head in 2018.’’

Ms Petty said while the prospects for exports were positive, challenges remained in key markets.

‘‘Goatmeat is widely consumed globally but remains a niche protein in many markets. Per capita consumption of goatmeat varies greatly between countries, with culture and local production being major factors influencing diet,’’ Ms Petty said.

‘‘Population growth and increasing household wealth underpin a positive outlook for global red meat consumption, however new consumers being unfamiliar with goatmeat remains a barrier for growth.’’

Ms Petty said the Australian goatmeat industry had seen substantial growth during the past two decades with production tripling since the turn of the century, underpinned by export demand and solid prices.

‘‘Goat over-the-hook prices have steadily increased over the past few years, from 371¢/kg cwt at the start of 2015 to a peak of 683¢/kg in July 2017. While 2018 saw a price correction, prices remained above the five-year average for the entirety of 2018, averaging 513¢/kg,” Ms Petty said.