Namibia sees beef exports plummet

By Arabella Mileham

- Last updated on GMT

Namibia sees beef exports plummet

Related tags: Live cattle exports, International trade, Cattle, South africa, Namibia

The beef trade in Namibia decreased by 28.8% in the first six months of 2012, the Meat Board of Namibia has revealed in its six-monthly review, with exports “significantly lower” than the same period in 2011.

The report showed that this contraction was primarily driven by the decline of live cattle exports, which more than halved to 10,772t, from 23,148t in 2011. This was partly attributed to export restrictions imposed on live cattle exports to Angola by the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry, which allow each exporter to export only five cattle per year. As a result, exports of live cattle to Angola fell from 2,436 in 2008 to 471 in the first six months of 2012. The market share of live exports in Namibia in 2011 was 41%.

Exports of cuts to Africa also fell, from 6,695t to 3,727t, but exports to the EU and Norway rose steadily from 3,765t to 5,465t by volume, or N$254.6m in value, assisted by Botswana not having access to those markets.

The report said the producer price was in line with that of South Africa, although prices for weaners at auction was higher.

However prices for weaners at auction had decreased significantly since the start of the year, which the report said was the result of high maize prices, as well as decreasing demand for beef. It said that lamb’s declining price had helped dampen demand.

The report said: “The performance of the cattle industry compared to the five-year average, declined both in terms of numbers and price. This negative performance was mainly a result of the declining number of weaners exported and worsened by lower slaughter numbers at export abattoirs.”

It said that various other economic factors had contributed to the downward movement of producer prices, including Botswana selling excess beef to South Africa at reduced prices, having been excluded from EU markets. This helped to create an over-supply, as well as high feed prices and falling consumer demand.

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