Meat, fish: 9.2% and 12.6% more expensive

Substitute commodities
Namibia is reliant on pork imports, which remains a risk to food security and input costs for meat processors.
Phillepus Uusiku
Meat was 9.2% more expensive in July on an annual basis, according to data provided by the Namibia Statistics Agency (NSA). In July 2022, annual meat inflation stood at 3.7%.
Similarly, looking at fish, which can be consumed as a substitute, the commodity recorded an inflation rate of 12.6% in July, compared to 6.8% recorded in July last year, the data indicates. Between January and July, meat inflation averaged 9.4%, while fish averaged 10.7%.
According to Simonis Storm, this is the highest level fish inflation has reached since October 2017. This is likely due to the fishing industry’s reliance on fuel and the fact the price of nets and ropes used to catch the fish moves with the price of oil. Indeed, during July 2023, Brent Crude’s price increased by 14.23% month-on-month. These higher costs for essential materials used in fishing operations are then passed on to consumers as higher fish prices, Simonis Storm pointed out.
The export bill of fish has increased for the 9th consecutive month, seeing a 60.2% year-on-year increase in May 2023. The export bill rose from N$697 million in May 2022 to N$1.1 billion in May 2023, with most of Namibia’s fish exports going to Europe and Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) member states.
Meat, pork
Year to date, slaughtering activity has outperformed activity in the same period of previous years, posting a 21.3% increase in the number of heads slaughtered, Simonis Storm added.
This increase is driven by cattle (20.7%), sheep (33.2%) and pigs (1.2%) activity, while goats slaughtered weighed down on the growth by 80.4%.
Total live exports have increased by 31.5% year-on-year, mainly driven by sheep (45.5%) and goat (24.1%) exports, while the number of live cattle exports remains flat at 0.1%.
Year to date, Namibia imported a total of 4.9 million kilograms of livestock and meat products, 0.9% lower when compared to the same period last year.
Year to date, 75% of imports are pork products, while in 2022 it only consisted of 58% of total imports.
Namibia is reliant on pork imports, which remains a risk to food security and input costs for meat processors. With the current ongoing Foot and Mouth Disease in South Africa, Namibia is forced to import from Europe at higher costs, passing the costs onto consumers. Indeed, pork inflation for July came in at 21.1% year-on-year, and averaged 18.8% year to date, Simonis Storm added.
“Similarly, canned meat inflation recorded a 12.8% year-on-year rate in July 2023, which carries the second largest weight in our meat import basket of 18%,” Simonis Storm [email protected]