• GVP $22 million est. Up 184% year-on-year.
  • Goat production reached a six year high.
  • Goat prices have fallen with the increase in supply and pressure from the US market.


NSW goatmeat production increased 295% to 2,770 tonnes in 2022-23, increasing significantly with the Bourke abattoir in operation since September 2022. Good conditions over the past few years allowed the wild goat population to increase significantly, which supported higher production. Australian goatmeat production increased 33% to 33,561 tonnes.

Australian Goat Production (excl. Kids) 178

Australian goat turnoff was the highest level since the 2016-17 financial year, with 2,0365,44 head processed. NSW, Queensland and Victoria all recorded higher turnoff, with South Australia and Western Australia the only mainland states that processed fewer goats than in 2021-22.

Slaughter weights were higher than in 2021-22, up to an average of 16.9kg Australia-wide. Average carcase weights in NSW rose to 15.2kg, up from 13kg in 2021-22, likely a result of grid specifications at Bourke abattoir and lower distances from depots and producers to processors.

NSW production increased significantly due to Bourke abattoir reopening in September 2022, 54 providing another option for farmers in far west NSW. Bourke abattoir has a capacity of 3,000 goats per day, and still has room for growth as one of the major goat processors in Australia with the abattoir processing between 1,200 to 1,500 goats per day for much of the year. 55 The United States Department of Agriculture listed the abattoir in March 2023, enabling goats processed at this abattoir to be exported to the United States.


Goat prices suffered a significant slide over the year, from $9.20/kg OTH in June 2022 down to a low of $2.60/kg OTH in April 2023. As supply increased, with June 2023 the highest production quarter since March 2016, prices fell to the lowest level since 2014. The bulk of the fall in prices occurred in late 2022, following the trend in mutton and lamb prices, which suffered similar falls in prices.

Australian goat prices followed export prices lower, with US export prices down 47% on year-ago levels. As the major market for Australian goatmeat, US trends are a key driver of local prices. US domestic goat prices were lower compared to 2021-22, with high quality slaughter kids reaching a peak of USD $10.44 per kg in April 2022 before falling sharply, dipping below USD $6 per kg briefly. Australian goatmeat is sold at a discount to US-produced goatmeat, which has had a mixed year with drought, high feed costs and inflation pressures. 58

Over-the-Hook and Export Goatmeat Prices 35 178

  • OTH Price (cwt), 16-20kg
  • Goat Export Price

US Saleyard Goat Prices, San Angelo, TX 80

  • Saleyard Goat Price


Higher production allowed Australia to export higher volumes of goatmeat in 2022-23, up 18% to 25,340 tonnes. While the volumes exported to the US were down by 21%to 11,162 tonnes, other export markets performed well. China emerged as the third largest market, with volumes increasing 3399% to 4,026 tonnes. Despite the large increase in volumes, export values were down, resulting from lower prices. Australian goat exports were $232 million, a 48% decline on 2021-22. This included goatmeat with a value of $225.2 million, and live goats with a value of $7.1 million. The value of exports to the US, the largest market for goatmeat, were $100 million, down 51% year-on year. Lower goatmeat prices allowed other countries to purchase more goatmeat, 56 with volumes to South Korea and Japan increase 78% and 61% respectively. NSW exports increased 117% to $11.0 million in 2022-23. Exports are expected to increase significantly in 2023-24, with exports up to $9.1 million in the first two months of the new financial year.

Stronger Primary Industries Strategy

Enhancing traceability of sheep and goats

In September 2022, all agricultural ministers in Australia agreed to work towards mandatory implementation of sheep and goat electronic identification (eID) nation-wide, similar to what occurs for cattle. The sheep and goat industries and NSW DPI are working together to transition to an eID system from June 2024 through to January 2027.

Strategic Outcome

shield with a check mark
Biosecure Industries and Environment
  • 1.3 Rapidly and efficiently contain biosecurity threats

NSW DPI chairs a NSW Sheep and Goat Traceability Reference Group, which has representatives from every sector of the industry (producers, saleyards, agents, processors, transporters and advisors). This group provides input and advice into the implementation process at every decision-making step. An eID is an electronic identification device that contains a microchip, which is applied to individual sheep or goats - generally in the form of an ear tag. The eID device can be scanned and that data inputted into the National Livestock Identification System (NLIS) database, which is Australia’s system for the identification and traceability of cattle, pigs, sheep and goats. The introduction of eID for sheep and goats nationally is an enhancement to the current traceability system making an animal emergency disease response more efficient and timely, with reduced impact on animals, people and consumers. Sheep and goat eID will support long-term market access and productivity, ensuring opportunities for best practice husbandry and business operations.

NSW DPI is implementing an eID system for sheep and goats that takes a considered approach of the time taken to manage the challenges posed by cultural and skill set changes across all sectors. In December 2022, grants of $5,000 to $15,000 were made available to all saleyards and processors in NSW to commence planning for essential modifications and critical infrastructure required to meet eID requirements.

The Commonwealth and NSW Government joined together in support of the sheep and goat industry, providing $38 million to support the implementation of mandatory individual eID across NSW. The NSW Sheep and Goat eID Rebate Scheme provides a rebate to eligible people across the industry to be prepared and ready, once electronic identification for sheep and goats is a requirement in NSW.

NSW DPI will continue to support those across all sectors of the sheep and goat industry to make the change to eID through a wealth of education and training opportunities, opportunities to talk directly to staff through their unique situation and learn more through case studies of those who are making or have already made the switch to eID.