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  • Writer's pictureAriff Azmi

Goat slaughter at its highest level in six years




Key points:

  • Nearly 50,000 goats were slaughtered nationally last week

  • Highest weekly slaughter since March 2017

  • NSW is driving the high goat slaughter volumes


Last week, the National Livestock Reporting Service (NLRS) voluntary slaughter survey recorded national goat slaughter at 49,920 head, the highest level since the 14th week of 2017 – in more than six years. The high goat slaughter numbers were driven by NSW, where throughput was 14,842 head. This goat slaughter in NSW is a 645% increase on the 1,992 slaughtered in the corresponding week of 2022.

The current situation and 2017 are similar – they both follow periods of strong goat population growth following successive favourable conditions, allowing producers to harvest rangeland goats in big numbers. Throughout 2017 goat slaughter numbers tapered off, whereas this year, there has been a steady supply of goats all year with slaughter numbers not falling below 25,000 head a week (excluding the Christmas and New Year shutdowns) – in part due to the rise in managed goats in recent years.

This year’s high supply of goats is a key driver in the reduced goat over the hooks (OTH) price, which currently sits at 278.92¢/kg – a 65% reduction on year-ago prices. The highest goat slaughter in six years comes a week after lamb slaughter numbers reached their highest level in four years. It may signal a much-needed improvement in processor labour availability.

Official ABS data on goat production, slaughter and carcase weights will be released next week.

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