MEAT and Livestock Australia’s (MLA) message to graziers in the goat industry to hang on to does and breed from them is starting to take affect if buying trends at last week’s Dubbo goat sale is any indicator.
Major local buyer for Melbourne, Victoria based RC Livestock, Stuart Boland, Narromine, said better prices were changing goat harvesters into graziers.
“Weaner goats were in very high demand from people who want to grow them out and fatten them to capitalise on hook prices,” he said.
“A couple of years ago you were flat out to give little kids away.
“But last Tuesday people were paying from $22 to $55 a head at Dubbo.”
PT Lord Dakin and Associates Dubbo goat specialist, Joe Portelli, said he had contracts over the hooks from $6.30 to $7.20 a kilogram dressed weight in South Australia.
“With the increasing demand processors have opened the gates a little wider and are even competing with restockers for Australian bush goats, especially if they have some Boer cross,” he said.
“There are now a number of people starting to put goats on feed to increase weight as grain and fodder is cheap and if the dollar stays where it is with the shortage of goats, the market will stay stronger for at least another 12 months.”
According to the MLA, over-the-hook indicators since 2013 have been on a steady upward trajectory.
In the past 12 months alone the 12,1 to 16 kilogram carcase weight goat indicator has jumped $1.01 from an average of $5.11 in January 2016 to $6.12kg/cwt for January 2017 with top quotes of $7kg cwt.
The national goat slaughter in November last year was 204,169 head, 20 per cent higher than the same time the year previous to bring the year-to-November goat slaughter to 1.74 million head, just 9pc lower than the previous year.
Indicative of heavier carcases being processed, the volume of goat meat produced for the month increased to a greater extent than slaughter.
November was the largest production month since October 2015.
MLA’s Goat Industry Project Manager, Julie Petty, said the message to not sell pregnant does, but retain them and their progeny to grow out and fatten, is paying off.
“The current strong demand is hopefully going to mean we continue price stabilisation and not more of those fluctuations we saw before,” she said.
“The last two years have been excellent and has given a lot of producers more confidence to evolve into this industry in a bigger way.”
Ms Petty said harvesters had reinvested earnings into upgraded infrastructure to semi-manage herds on farm.