Livestock sector performs well in third quarter

Livestock sector performs well in third quarter

All sectors in the meat industry recorded positive performances during the third quarter of 2023, posting favourable quarterly marketing figures in comparison with the third quarter of 2022.

Exports of beef products increased substantially during the third quarter of 2023 on account of a doubling of quarterly performance by export abattoirs in comparison to 2022, while sheep-slaughtering activities increased at export-approved abattoirs.

Commodity producer prices showed a mixed performance with slaughter cattle and sheep prices trending upwards.

According to a review by the Meat Board of Namibia, a total of 91 154 head of cattle were marketed during the third quarter of 2023, an increase of 52,03% from 59 957 cattle marketed during the same period in 2022.

Producers responded positively to attractive prices offered by A-class abattoirs, and the growth in marketing was mainly driven by increased slaughtering activities at export-approved abattoirs, as well as an improvement in live exports.

According to the Meat Board, live export market shares declined and averaged 56,7%.

This is a drop of 2,9% in total marketing.

The review said export-approved abattoirs slaughtered 34 398 head of cattle, while a total of 5 066 were marketed at Meat Board-registered B- and C-class abattoirs during the third quarter of 2023.

“A significant number of all live cattle (99,1%) were exported and marketed on the hoof to South Africa (51 206 out of 51 690), whereas other Southern African Development Community countries accounted for the remaining 484. This represents less than 1% of total live exports,” said the review.

The Meat Board says there was a 111,3% increase in the number of cattle slaughtered at export abattoirs in the third quarter of 2023, compared to the same period in 2022, moving from a quarterly total of 16 281 head of cattle slaughtered to 34 398.

“Namibian weaner prices south of the veterinary cordon fence decreased by 24,5% during the third quarter of 2023, while South African weaner prices also declined, albeit at a slower rate of 7,72%.

“This brought the gap between Namibian weaner prices and South African weaner prices to N$8,12 per kilogram in 2023,” the report said.

Meanwhile, the third quarter registered a growth of 60,94% in the total number of sheep marketed, with a total of 190 825 sheep marketed during the third quarter of 2023, compared to 118 569 marketed in the same period last year.

The increase can be attributed to increased live exports to South Africa, as well as slaughtering activities at export-approved abattoirs.

A total of 150 175 sheep were exported to South Africa in the third quarter of 2023 accounting for 78,7% of total marketing.

Profitability in the South African meat sector has come under severe pressure in recent years, due to persistent load-shedding, animal disease outbreaks and haphazard municipal service delivery.

Total meat consumption has grown in the past decade, mainly due to more affordable products such as poultry and pork.

The number of pigs slaughtered at Meat Board-approved abattoirs dipped by 4,23% during the period under review to a total of 11 020 pigs, which produced 1 060 tonnes of pork.

Meanwhile, the third quarter of 2023 recorded an improved performance in goat marketing, with a total of 46 807 animals marketed, bringing year-to-date marketing to 104 824 goats.

This represents a 7,55% increase in marketing year to date.

Live export of goats improved by 24,7% during the quarter under review, with 45 966 animals compared to the 36 844 marketed in 2022.

From the total number of goats marketed during the third quarter of 2023, 98,2% were live exports, while B- and C-class abattoirs absorbed 1,8% of all animals marketed.

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