For the first time since September 2019, export-approved abattoirs recorded the highest combined slaughter of 10 743 animals last month.
This according to the Meat Board of Namibia’s monthly statistics for May, which said this marks a shift for the beef sector post the 2019 drought, which left the sector on its knees.
“The increased slaughtering at export-approved abattoirs was accompanied by decent producer prices during the month under review.”
Efforts in accessing lucrative export markets by export-approved abattoirs continue to pay off, and the gains are being filtered through to producers, it said.
As a result, the all-grade beef producer prices increased to N$60.81 per kilogram during May from the N$57.94/kg paid to farmers during May 2022.
“The sector is expected to see increased availability of animals marketed during the coming months due to drought induced-supply. This will inadvertently exert downward pressure on auction prices across the board.”
The Meat Board, however, said weakened activities observed at local abattoirs, coupled with live exports of weaners, softened the overall performance of the sector, thereby recording a decline of 3.2% year-on-year during May from the positive growth of 7.1% registered during April.
It said the drop in the demand for Namibian weaners, particularly from South African feedlots, is owed to the ever-increasing pressure on South African feedlots to uptake weaners flooding the market as a result of a lack of export markets.
This explains the 19.6% decline in live export recorded in May.
According to the Meat Board, a total of 20 200 animals went through Livestock Auctioneers, Brokers and Traders Association auctions south of the veterinary cordon fence.
This is an increase in auction large stock turnover from April’s 15 347 heads.
Weaner prices have started bottoming out from the N$25/kg range and averaged N$26.51/kg in May, a sign of relief for farmers, it said.
The board noted that marketing activities across all segments of the sheep sector continue driving its performance in an upward trajectory. The sector grew by 18.8% as a total of 86 749 sheep were marketed during May, relative to the May 2022 level of 73 016 heads.
“Live export of sheep, particularly to South Africa, remains an important marketing channel for Namibian sheep producers as local marketing channels are unable to retain and absorb all the slaughter-ready animals produced.”
It added that the slaughter capacity of both local and export-approved abattoirs remains grossly underutilised due to a shortage of alternative meat markets, as the South African market remains oversupplied from its own production.
Of the total sheep exported in May, 87.7% were exported for direct slaughter and the remaining 12.3% went to feedlots.
The goat sector has recorded a positive growth of 3.2% as a total of 12 414 goats were marketed during May, relative to 12 026 goats marketed over the same period last year. Of this total, 99.9% (12 402 heads) were exported live to South Africa, mainly to the traditional Kwa-Zulu Natal market.
Goat lamb prices increased by N$0.80/kg from April to stand at N$30.92/kg by the end of May. Year-to-date, the average goat lamb price stood at N$33.11/kg by the end of May.
In a rare development, 168 pigs were exported to Angola during May. On the other hand, 4 230 pigs were slaughtered at Meat Board-registered pig abattoirs during this period. The pork ceiling price operating under the Pork Market Share Promotion Scheme remains set at N$51.03/kg.
[Source – Republikein]