Limited supply in Australian goat meat impacts export
Due to adverse weather condition, Australia's goat meat production for the year-to-June has been declining by 21% compared to the previous year. According to Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA), goat slaughter totalled 814,000 head, back 19% year-on-year and 21% below the 5-year average. The decline in slaughter throughout 2019 can be attributed to a prolonged shortage of goats, driven by a sustained period of dry conditions in the primary goat producing regions. Goatmeat exports for the year-to-July have totalled 12,400 tonnes shipped weight (swt), a decrease of 15% year-on-year.
The US remains the largest market for goatmeat exports, accounting for 71% of exports so far in 2019 - Taiwan, Trinidad and Tobago, South Korea and Canada are also key export markets.
Due to limited supply, domestic prices have surged to record levels in the last couple of years. As a result, producers have been incentivised to harvest their goats. In order to support the recovery of the sector, MLA announced that it will extend its "Bred Well Fed Well" program to goat breeders. Bred Well Fed Well programs exist for sheep and cattle producers and in the coming months, MLA will be trialling a series of workshops for goat producers.
Workshop participants will learn how to analyse and plan a genetics and nutrition regime suited to their environment and markets to boost profitability.
Bred Well Fed Well for goats will focus on:
- how to use genetics to improve enterprise profitability
- how to develop a breeding objective
- the impact of doe nutrition on reproductive performance and profitability
- developing simple energy budgets for breeders
- practical skills such as condition scoring, feed budgeting and buck selection.
Australia is the world's largest exporter of goat meat accounting for 15% in the global market.
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