How does Australian goatmeat fare on the world stage?


Meat & Livestock Australia has released its annual Global snapshot: Goatmeat, offering a comprehensive analysis of Australia's leading role in the global goatmeat market.

Posted on Jun 07 ,05:40

How does Australian goatmeat fare on the world stage?

The snapshot delves into Australian goatmeat’s supply and demand dynamics, providing a detailed overview of key factors such as domestic slaughter and production, supply volumes, price, exports and market access. It also includes an extensive analysis of Australia's top goat markets, with updated insights on trends that underpin current demand and future opportunities.

Australian production and supply

Australian goat production grew for a second consecutive year, following a 20-year low in 2020 caused by several years of adverse conditions that reduced supply. Sustained favourable conditions triggered an expansion in the flock size and higher carcase weights, flowing through to increased supply volumes across all states. Goatmeat had enjoyed record-high over-the-hook prices since mid-2019, but a combination of factors saw reduced prices in the second half of 2022.

Australian exports
Although Australia is a relatively minor goatmeat producer in a global context, it shines as the world's leading exporter. Following increased supply since 2020, exports have continued rising, reaching an all-time high value of A$261 million in 2022. The US remains by far the largest market for Australian goatmeat, followed by South Korea, which has seen rapid growth in recent years. Canada, Taiwan, and Trinidad & Tobago are also major destinations. In Q1 2023, an export surge to China’s mainland saw it become a top market for the quarter.

Domestic market
While Australia is a net goatmeat exporter, the domestic market also represents a significant opportunity, with specific consumer segments driving growth. Recognising the opportunity for broader appeal, MLA launched the ‘Goatober’ campaign to raise awareness and encourage Australian goatmeat’s presence on global restaurant menus.

North America
The US is by far Australia's largest export market, with Canada an emerging destination. Despite Australia's dominant position as a supplier to both countries, Mexico has increased its goatmeat exports to the US. While goatmeat is a niche protein with low awareness among the general public, the large populations of several ethnic backgrounds drive demand.

South Korea
The Korean market has experienced rapid growth in import demand for Australian goatmeat, becoming Australia's second-largest export destination for a second consecutive year. Increasing consumer interest in overall health and the positive health association of goatmeat have been significant drivers of the demand for Australian goatmeat in recent years.

Taiwan has been a long-standing trade partner, with Australia supplying almost all of Taiwan's goatmeat imports. Taiwan primarily imports skin-on carcases, which are typically consumed in winter due to the product's association with body strengthening and warming properties.

China Mainland
Despite China being the world's largest goatmeat producer supplying its domestic market, mainland China’s demand for Australian goatmeat surged in Q1 2023, supported by a combination of now-zero tariffs, low prices and an opportunity to feature at a May Day BBQ festival.

The Caribbean
The Caribbean has a large goat flock and a long tradition of enjoying goatmeat. Australia has been a reliable supplier to Trinidad & Tobago for over 30 years. While tight supply in Australia and strong demand from other markets had reduced exports, this trend started to reverse in 2022 as Australian goatmeat prices eased and Trinidad & Tobago's economy improved.

Livestock exports
Australian’s live goat exports have been in decline for several years and registered their lowest volumes for some years in 2022. Regulations, high freight costs and high prices have reduced competitiveness of live goats versus domestic supply and cheaper alternatives such as sheepmeat.

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