Local beef uptake reduces exports

Namibia’s beef exports declined 8% to 881,535kg during the month of April 2023 from 958,221kg recorded in the prior month attributed to an increase in local consumption.

According to the latest monthly report by the Meat Board of Namibia, beef demand for local consumption realised this year has reduced export quantities as a result of better domestic margins influenced by the difference between local retail prices and producer carcass prices. 

"Local beef retail prices during April 2023 averaged N$96.30/kg. Year-to-date beef exports stood at 2,533,748kg by the end of April 2023 in comparison to 3,001,904kg recorded during the same period in 2022. Beef imports remain below 2022 levels due to improved local availability of beef offal which is traditionally dominant in the import basket," the Meat Board of Namibia's report stated.

Year-on-year, beef imports were 47.8% lower than what was imported during the same period in 2022 whereas, year-to-date imports also declined by 49.6% in comparison to the same period in 2022.

"As a result of improved sheep slaughter activity, mutton exports increased by 136.7% during April 2023 compared to April 2022," it states.

South Africa remains the dominant export destination for Namibian lamb and mutton taking up 57.3% of all exports whereas the remaining 42.7% of exports went to Norway.

The Norwegian market is a lucrative destination for boneless lamb and supports value addition in the sheep sector resulting in better sheep producer prices.

In the same vein, Botswana remains Namibia’s main competitor in live cattle in the South African market after taking Namibia’s historic position as the number one exporter of live cattle to South Africa. 

Meanwhile, weaner prices have generally been on a consistent decline from month to month since the beginning of the year.

This comes during a time when farmers are seeking markets to off-take their animals before the drought hits in order to avoid any losses.

"Despite the improved prices offered by export-approved abattoirs, drought conditions are unlikely to support the volume of slaughter cattle notionally expected from the low weaner /B2 ratio. On the other hand, the South African weaner price offers are unlikely to improve due to emergency marketing on the part of Namibian producers and squeezed margins faced by South African feedlots,"

In addition, sheep price differentials between Northern Cape abattoirs and Namibian abattoirs have increased in favour of Namibia but sheep supply to export abattoirs has not responded by a reasonable proportion suggesting supply chain rigidities.

During the month of April 2023, 99,114 sheep were marketed through formal channels compared to 82,715 sheep marketed during the same month last year.

While slaughtering at export approved abattoirs increased by 115.5% to record a slaughter of 10,781 heads during April 

"The increase is owed to an improved national sheep herd coupled with the demand of sheep by the two export approved abattoirs. Year-to-date slaughtering by export approved abattoirs stood at 35,141 heads by the end of April, an increase of 250.8%. This growth is purely technical as it remains far below the pre-drought and pre-small stock scheme historical norm."

During the same period, 8,185 goats were marketed at Meat Board-registered goat abattoirs, of which 224 were slaughtered. 

Also, a total of 7,961 goats were exported live to South Africa mainly to the traditional Kwa-Zulu Natal market. 

In contrast, 3,651 pigs were slaughtered during the period of April 2023.

This represents a decline of 9.3% in comparison to 2022 levels. The pork ceiling price operating under the Pork Market Share Promotion Scheme (PMSPS) remains set at N$51.03/kg.

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Last modified on Thursday, 25 May 2023 07:40

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