Marginal growth forecasted for Namibia’s fishing sector in 2023

Namibia’s fishing sector is forecasted to grow by only 1.3% in 2023, due to an unlikely increase in the total allowable catch (TAC), owing to a slow growth in the country’s stocks, research firm Simonis Storm said in its Agri-monthly report.

“The outlook is relatively flat to meagre growth for the local fishing sector. While the stock of fish is growing in the Hake sub-sector, it is growing at slow pace and so the total allowable catch (TAC) is unlikely to be adjusted upwards in the near future. The stock of fish in the horse mackerel, crab and monk sub-sectors are not growing, so quota for these sub-sectors will not increase any time soon,” the report said.

“With most sub-sectors operating at TAC, we do not see how physical fish landings can improve significantly from current levels.”

According to Agri-monthly report, the country’s fishing sector accounts for 12.5% of total exports on average in 2022 and year to date accounting for 5.7% of real GDP, making the local fish industry a crucial export earner for Namibia.

The value of fish exports increased by 12.2% year on year (y/y) in November last year compared to 22.4% y/y in October 2022, while on a monthly basis, fish exports decreased by 47.6% m/m in November 2022, compared to a rise of 0.9% m/m in October 2022.

“YTD, the value of fish exports is 2.8% higher than the value of exports recorded in the same period in 2021 (January to November).”

“The major drop in exports during November is typical in the data and can be ascribed to the fishing year for the Hake sub-sector (November to October) coming to an end. The hake sector has the highest value and would therefore have the biggest impact on export figures. Hake is mainly exported to Europe, whereas horse mackerel (the second largest sub-sector in value) is mainly exported to other African countries,” said the research firm.

The agricultural sector, according to the report, contracted by 1.5% during the first three quarters of 2022, compared to the same period in 2021 mainly driven by a decline in livestock and crop farming.

The 14.2% contraction in 3Q 2022 is the largest decline since 2Q 2019. The biggest contributors to the 3Q 2022’s decline include livestock farming, down 18.9% y/y and crop farming coming off a high base, only growing by 2.7% y/y in 3Q 2022 following an expansion of 10.5% y/y in 3Q 2021. The foot and mouth disease in Botswana and South Africa prevented exports to Namibia’s usual markets in 3Q 2022. Weak to moderate growth in crop farming and improved livestock production support a sluggish growth outlook for the agriculture sector.

In December 2022, total livestock slaughtering contracted by 10.1%, according to the research firm’s report, as butchers lost 12.4% market share to export abattoirs.


 “At the same time, livestock exports increased by 7.8% on average, with goat live exports increasing 40.7% y/y in December 2022, but cattle and sheep contracting by 15.8% y/y and 1.5% y/y respectively.”

According to Simonis Storm, crop farming production forecasts look bleak for the 1H2023 following the latest field verification exercise conducted by the Namibian Agronomic Board (NAB).

“The NAB forecasts shortages in 62% of the horticulture products it analyses, where more severe shortages are expected for lettuce, cauliflower, broccoli, mushrooms, tomatoes, carrots, onions, potatoes, cabbage and butternuts between January and May 2023.”

“Only the forecasted tonnage for green peppers and colour peppers production is expected to be sufficient in meeting local demand and their forecasted tonnage is estimated to place them as the top soft commodities for Namibia. Shortages in local harvests imply that Namibia will remain a net importer of food products and so consumers remain vulnerable to global and regional food price developments.”

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Last modified on Tuesday, 24 January 2023 19:58

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