Meat & Livestock News

Goat Production is the Greatest of All Time

TL;DR: Australia sets a new record for goat slaughter and meat production in Q1 2024, with increased processing capacity and rising goat meat availability worldwide.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) recently released the production and slaughter figures for the first quarter of 2024.

Record-Breaking Numbers

In the first three months of 2024, Australia processed more goats than ever before. Goat slaughter, including kids, totalled 754,141. This is the first time the number has exceeded 750,000 in a single quarter.

Increase in Processing Capacity

New South Wales (NSW) saw a massive increase in goat processing capacity. Since March 2022, processing in NSW has jumped 4,787%, mainly due to the reopening of the Bourke processing plant. With these growing numbers, NSW is closing in on Queensland for the title of second biggest goat-producing state behind Victoria.

Higher Goat Meat Production

The record goat slaughter also led to record goat meat production. In the first three months of 2024, a new record was set with 11,777 tonnes of goat meat produced. This surpasses the previous record of 11,335 tonnes from Q1 2017.

Consistent Carcase Weights

For the fifth consecutive quarter, average carcase weights have remained between 15kg and 16kg. Queensland goats had the heaviest average at 16.6kg per head, nearly 1 kg more than other states.

Simultaneous Record Lamb Production

Record goat production and slaughter happened while lamb production also hit record levels. Nearly 7 million lambs were slaughtered in Q1 2024, with mutton production remaining high.

Global Supply and Prices

Australia, being the largest exporter of both sheep meat and goat meat, now has a substantial supply available globally. This has contributed to subdued prices for sheep, lamb, and goat livestock.

Opportunity for Consumers

The record goat production volumes mean there has never been as much goat meat available in both domestic and international markets. This provides consumers worldwide with a great opportunity to try goat meat.