In the lead-up to Ramadan and Eid al Fitr – traditionally a peak period for Australian goat exports – demand for live goats has been curtailed due to COVID-19 restrictions in Malaysia.
Live goats are almost exclusively exported by air – with Malaysia by far the largest market – but with the onset of a global pandemic, overall live goat exports have declined by around 85% in the calendar year to March1.
Although there’s greater competition for access to the global airfreight network with fewer passenger planes operating, some consignments of goats are still going to Malaysia.
However, in Malaysia, many foodservice and retail facilities are closed, and the operations of abattoirs and other facilities along the supply chain have been affected by domestic movement restrictions in place due to COVID-19. This has drastically reduced demand for live goats.
Australian goatmeat exports have also declined by 29% in the calendar year to April compared to a year earlier2. Global demand for goatmeat overall has slowed due to COVID-19 restrictions and as Australian goat prices have increased.
It’s expected that Malaysia’s demand for Australian live goats will remain after COVID-19 but the level of that demand, access to airfreight and in-market capacity to accept consignments are unknown.