Consumer demand lifts price

Consumer demand lifts price


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RISING TREND: Thomas Foods International SA goat buyer Simon Prior. TFI processes an average 8000 to 10,000 goats a week across two facilities, as high prices continue.

RISING TREND: Thomas Foods International SA goat buyer Simon Prior. TFI processes an average 8000 to 10,000 goats a week across two facilities, as high prices continue.

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GOAT prices have continued their upward trajectory, hitting a new high of $7.50 a kilogram carcaseweight at Thomas Foods International.

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GOAT prices have continued their upward trajectory, hitting a new high of $7.50 a kilogram carcaseweight at Thomas Foods International.

TFI national livestock manager Paul Leonard said strong demand from export markets was pushing prices up to previously unforeseen prices.

“We’ve had an upward trajectory for the past four years but, like anything, there will be a point when they level out,” he said.

TFI has just begun processing goats at a second facility in Tamworth, NSW, to add to its facility at Lobethal, which re-started in goats six years ago while prices were $1.60/kgcwt.

On average, they process between 8000 and 10,000 goats a week, rising to 18,000 at its peak, with all product exported to the United States.

While winter months are traditionally characterised by shorter supply, with goats kidding and more difficult to muster, Mr Leonard does not believe this will lead to a spike in the price.

“Every grower in Australia is happy at that price, so I don’t think it will get a lot dearer,” he said.

“We’re delighted growers do receive good returns, which are probably well-overdue, but whether the price is sustainable will be decided by the end consumer.”

Figures from Meat & Livestock Australia showed the on-the-hook goat indicators eased slightly in April, down to $6.43/kgcwt, from $6.55/kgcwt in March, before it returned to a new high of $6.58/kgcwt. In part this was driven by lifting supply, with the average weekly slaughter rate across Australia 9 per cent higher year-on-year.

Exports in April also lifted 15pc year-on-year, but were still down on February and March figures, totalling 2950 tonnes, with exports to the US up 24pc compared to this time last year.

Goatmeat prices have steadily climbed in the past four years, from $2.88/kgcwt in May 2014, to $4.23/kgcwt in 2015 and $5.52/kgcwt last year.

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