Namibia sourcing pork from overseas markets

SA import ban hits sector hard
An 11.13% increase was recorded in the number of pigs slaughtered at local abattoirs between April and May.
Ellanie Smit
Despite the current shortage of pork in Namibia, the number of formal pork producers in the country remains low, causing retailers and processors to source products from overseas markets.
The local demand for pork increased since a ban on imports from South Africa due to a foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) outbreak in August 2022, and this has created a bigger-than-normal shortage of pork in the country.
Namibia imported 608 365 kilograms of pork, while it exported 8 341 kg in May, according to the Meat Board of Namibia’s Market Watch.
The top product imported were pork tails, while the top export product was hog casings.
Locally, an 11.13% increase was recorded in the number of pigs slaughtered at local abattoirs between April and May.
This is 0.14% lower than a year ago, when 4 068 pigs were slaughtered.
The Meat Board said continuous pressure on European Union (EU) pig producers - such as high input costs that impact products and threats of African swine fever - remain a hindrance to potential increases in pork exports.
High prices are, however, being recorded in Poland and Germany, which are Namibia’s current main sources of pork, and Denmark.
Poland recorded an increase in pig producer carcass prices of N$3.03/kg from the April level of N$48.61/kg, while Germany and Denmark recorded a growth of 3.49% from the April price level.
“The growth in these EU producer carcass prices is attributed to the decline in pig production, where the EU-27 experienced a decline of 8% in pork production compared to the same period last year,” the report said.
The Meat Board added that United States prices have been on a steady increase from the lows recorded in January, growing by a massive 20%.
Prices in Canada also experienced increases, with producer prices in Ontario increasing by 12.29% while those in Quebec increased by 4.09%.
The Namibian pork ceiling price remains fixed at N$51.03/kg, while the South African prices currently stand at N$29.98/kg.
Agribank recently said the pig industry remains pocket-sized in Namibia, with more than 80% of slaughter pork being imported.
Meanwhile, the Namibia Agricultural Union said between 45% and 50% of Namibia’s pork consumption is met by local production, with the remaining deficit being covered by imports from Europe, primarily from Germany and Spain.