NSW is home to the largest population of rangeland goats in Australia, however most of the processing is done in Queensland and Victoria. The estimated output of goatmeat in 2019-20 was $10 million, with 974 tonnes of goatmeat produced. Drought conditions for most of the year further reduced the feral goat population in NSW, while high prices for much of the year encouraged producers to maintain supply.
The DPI recognises the value of the goat industry in NSW and the importance of supporting its future development.
The Goat Industry Council of Australia (GICA), in collaboration and consultation with stakeholders, developed the Goatmeat and Livestock Industry Strategic Plan 2015-2020.
DPI has reviewed the plan and, in line with DPI’s Strategic Plan 2019-2023, has provided feedback and recommendations for the goat industry and relevant industry stakeholders in NSW.
On 13 November 2019 the Right to Farm Bill was passed in the Parliament of NSW.
The concept of 'right to farm' has multiple facets but the common interpretation relates to a desire by farmers to undertake lawful agricultural practices without conflict or interference arising from complaints from neighbours and other land users.
The NSW Government has developed a comprehensive, state-wide approach to deal with the issue of 'right to farm', which brings together a suite of responses.
Australian goatmeat production was 18,900 tonnes, of which NSW produced 974 tonnes 115. NSW has the largest rangeland goat population in Australia. Over the past 3-years NSW contributed nearly 70% of the goats that were processed in Australia.
Goat offtake reached approximately 1.2 million head, down 14% over the previous year. Victoria accounted for half of total production, while NSW accounted for only 5% 115. Australian production peaked in July 2019, at the same time as record high prices. This was also the highest throughput since early 2018 however, production also reached the lowest level since 2002 in May, coinciding with the closure of an abattoir in Melbourne.
NSW supplied 1.1 million goats to Australian processors in 2019, over 80% of national supply. Approximately half were sent to Victoria, while near equal numbers went to Queensland and South Australia.
Drought conditions in NSW have steadily reduced the rangeland goat population over the past 4-years. The aerial survey estimated the NSW herd at 3.9 million in 2019, up significantly over 2018 estimates 106. The population peaked in 2016 prior to the onset of the drought.
The ongoing drought has maintained pressure on the goat population with feed and water still scarce. The DPI NSW Combined Drought Indicator showed that much of western NSW was “Drought Affected” over the 12 months to 30 June 2020 71, and areas around Broken Hill were still classified as in ”Intense Drought.” This, combined with high prices, has encouraged farmers to continue mustering goats.
The average over the hook price for goats was 860 cents per kilogram carcase weight in 2019-20, a record high for a yearly average and a 39% increase over the previous year 115. The highest prices were received in early July 2019 at 940 cents per kilogram, and the minimum prices for the year fell to 723 cents per kilogram in late June 2020, still higher than average prices received for 2018-19.
Over the year goat prices outperformed mutton and lamb prices, only falling below lamb prices in May 2020 115. Strong demand from the United States, Taiwan and South Korea and drought-affected supply were factors behind the high over the hook prices.
NSW goat exports were valued at $1.3 million 94, with much of NSW goatmeat consumed domestically. Of the 974 tonnes of goatmeat produced in NSW, only 52 tonnes were exported 94. Australian exports were $216 million, an increase of 22% over the previous year due to higher prices received in world markets 94.
The United States remained the largest market, accounting for 70% of Australia’s exports at $147 million 94. Exports to the United States increased 18% over the previous year, however, were still lower than in 2015-16 and 2016-17. Taiwan, South Korea and Canada were other major destinations for exports 94.
Live goat exports account for a small amount of total goat exports, with Australian exports valued at $6.0 million, down from $7.2 million in 2018-19. China, Malaysia and Philippines were the major destinations for Australian live goats 94.
NSW and Australia did not import any goatmeat in 2019-20.
Above average rainfall across much of western NSW in March and April 2020 provided some relief for farmers with increased feed availability and hope that breeding could rebuild the population. Ongoing projects such as the Meat and Livestock Australia Goat Enterprise Benchmarking Project have helped to develop the industry 109 and there are early trends toward breeding more managed goat enterprises 107.
Goat meat is a niche market with an increasing trend in Australia 108. Ongoing work to promote the protein and increasing penetration in restaurants will help consumer acceptance and underpin long-term growth in the industry.