Categories: Articles, Livestock and gamePublished On: 20th September 2023

Namibian livestock industry rebounds

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Article supplied by RPO

The Namibian livestock and meat industry rebounded during the second quarter of 2023, according to the Meat Board of Namibia. Strong slaughtering activities at A-class abattoirs in the cattle and sheep sectors drove improvements in total marketing.

Coupled to this is the increase in producer prices, which remains a pillar of support for the slaughter market segment which had a decent market share in the second quarter of the year.

Cattle sector

A total of 78 212 cattle were marketed during the second quarter of 2023, an 8% growth from the level observed in the second quarter of last year. The ratio between live exports and slaughtering in the country improved with 53,0% of all cattle marketed being slaughtered at A, B & C class abattoirs while live exports market share dropped and averaged 47%, a decline of 5,9% of total marketing.

Market signals appear to be well-functioning in the livestock and meat industry as producers responded well to relatively attractive prices offered by A-class abattoirs. B2 producer prices paid by export approved abattoirs south of the veterinary cordon fence averaged N$61,06/ kg, an 0,5% increase from the average N$60,77/kg paid last year during the same period. Weaner prices struggled to recover during the second quarter of 2023 and averaged N$24,97/kg by the end of the period.

This is a decline of 31,7% compared to the 2022 level of N$36,58/kg. The situation is attributed to the decline in demand for Namibian weaners by South Africa whilst South African weaners on the other hand, fetched relatively higher prices and averaged N$32,05/kg, N$7,08/kg higher than Namibian weaner prices during the second quarter of 2023. The weaner/B2 producer price ratio reached an all-time low ratio of 40,9% during the quarter under review from the ideal 64,0% benchmark as a result of extremely low weaner prices recorded in 2023. Sustaining the 64,0% ratio would result in maintaining balance in the industry among market segments. Beef exports mirrored the increased slaughtering observed at exportapproved abattoirs during the second quarter of 2023 and totalled 5 039 tonnes, up by 38,8% from 3 630 tonnes recorded in corresponding 2022 period.

Additionally, The Rundu abattoir is expected to resume operations in the coming months. This will serve as an additional marketing stream for the northern farmers which will inadvertently complement beef exports to regional markets. Export approved abattoirs have over the past couple of months increased their supply of beef into the domestic market and this has reduced the volumes of beef entering the country, particularly offal products.

During the quarter under review, beef imports dropped by 52,4% from the 547 tonnes imported during 2022 to 260 tonnes during 2023. These imports comprised of offal and canned beef only, which accounted for 23,8 and 76,5% of all beef imports, respectively. Beef trade balance has improved by 4 799 tonnes in 2023, showing a better balance of trade position due to increased production and export of beef.

Sheep sector

The sector recorded a consecutive growth rate of 17,9% in the second quarter of 2023. A total of 276 325 sheep were marketed during the quarter under review relative to the 2022 level of 234 354 sheep. The improved performance in sheep marketing was driven by a sustained growth in live export of sheep coupled with increased slaughtering at export approved abattoirs. Namibian export approved abattoirs continued paying higher producer prices relative to Northern Cape abattoirs during the second quarter of the year. On average, Namibian export approved abattoirs paid N$89,04/ kg for the A2 grade, N$8,38/kg more compared to Northern Cape abattoirs which paid N$80,96/kg for the same grade.

This price difference is N$3,40/ kg more than the Meat Board’s established nominal benchmark difference of N$4,98/kg in favour of Namibian abattoirs. Slaughtering at export approved establishments increased by 141,4% in comparison to the moderate marketing levels recorded in 2022.

This notable growth was reflected within mutton exports that nearly grew by the same margin. Mutton exports stood at 379 tonnes by the end of quarter, relative to 179 tonnes exported during the same period in 2022. Mutton imports on the other hand totalled 53 tonnes in the form of offal during the period under review.

Source: Meat Board of Namibia

 

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