RED hot demand for restocker nanny goats as livestock enterprises look to incorporate goats into their rebuilding plans is providing solid support for prices despite global market woes.
Worldwide demand for goatmeat is taking a hit from the coronavirus pandemic and transit disruptions are hampering the trade in key markets like North America but local conditions are proving a stronger market driver on home soil.
Restocker nanny goats have sold for $9 a kilogram on-the-ground on AuctionsPlus and registered goat depots are paying $3.60/kg.
Over-the-hooks rates are sitting around $7.60/kg, dressed, and while that is down on last year's highs of $9.40, it is historically still a very good return.
Most of the demand is coming out of Queensland, with goat production in that state expected to double in the next few years, depending on how the seasons play out.
NSW Farmers' goat committee chair Katie Davies, Fairmount Station at Wilcannia, said Queenslanders were at the forefront of identifying total grazing pressure as a key part of management strategy, along with pest management, and were using cluster fencing extensively to that end.
"The benefits of goats as part of that management are well recognised. They are a browser and utilise their feedbase effectively," she said.
Peak goat body the Goat Industry Council had worked very hard in recent years to increase the understanding of the benefits of including goats as part of a mixed livestock herd, she said.
The move from semi-managed to fully managed herds was also driving demand for good genetics to put vigour into herds.
"It's all about ironing iron out the peaks and troughs in Australian goat supply to ensure we fully capitalise on growing global markets," Ms Davies said.
The big supply area of restocker goats has been western NSW but drought has significantly reduced kidding numbers, creating a supply and demand dynamic that should provide solid support for prices for some time.
The high prices and COVID-19 restrictions have seen exports slow to the tune of 29 per cent in the calendar year to April compared to a year earlier, Meat & Livestock Australia analysts report.
Live goat exports have dropped by 85pc to March. Most live goats go to Malaysia and MLA analysts believe that demand will remain after COVID-19 but access to airfreight and in-market capacity to accept consignments are unknown.
GIC president and South Australian producer John Falkenhagen said the massive restocking happening in Australia means there is no overflow of product to offload despite the downturn globally.
"Western NSW and Queensland were destocked heavily due to drought and while that degree of destocking didn't happen in SA, most goat herds here are also looking to build numbers," he said.
"The diversification option, along with the record prices, is making a lot of sheep and cattle people have a good look at goats at the moment, and the fact we have growing international markets, past the pandemic, is also attractive," he said.
MLA's latest global goatmeat snapshot shows Australia remains the largest exporter of goatmeat, despite accounting for only 1pc of global production.
Australia exported 95pc of production last year, with exports totaling 21,200 tonnes shipped weight.
The United States took the majority and exporters now report there is a large amount of product sitting in transit due to the massive disruptions the pandemic is causing in North America.