Livestock marketing surge recorded in January

Marketing increase reflects drought expectations
January began on a positive note, with overall marketing activities recording growth across all livestock sectors.
Ellanie Smit
Typically, livestock marketing is known to start slowly in the first month of the year due to reduced activities.
However, this was not the case in January of this year, as all sectors recorded increased activities during the period under review.
According to the latest statistics provided by the Livestock and Livestock Products Board (LLPB), the surge in activity mirrors drought expectations in the highly active central and southern regions.

Cattle sector
The report stated that 20 398 cattle were marketed during January, which brings the growth of the cattle sector up by 17.1% from 17 419 heads marketed during January 2023.
Of this total, 70.9% were exported live on the hoof to neighbouring countries, 24.9% were slaughtered at local A-class abattoirs and 4.2% were slaughtered at various LLPB-approved B- and C-class abattoirs.
“The growth in sector activity is owed to increased exports of weaners to South Africa, predominantly as a result of an expected better grain harvest that will help feeding margins."
The LLPB said producer prices at all export-approved abattoirs south of the veterinary cordon fence (VCF) for all-grade beef average slowed to N$59.41/kg from the N$61.14/kg recorded in January 2023.
However, north of the VCF, there has been a remarkable improvement over the past couple of months, with the producer price for tollies averaging N$ 28.35/kg relative to the N$20.58/kg recorded in January 2023.
A total 640 651 kg of beef was exported during January 2024, of which 42.2% was exported to the European Union (EU).
The remaining beef exports went to the UK (22.8%), followed by South Africa with 16.5%, and the remaining 14.5% was split between Norway and China, respectively.

Sheep sector
The sheep sector recorded a growth of 31.6%, led by live exports and slaughtering at A-class abattoirs.
Year-on-year, live exports, particularly to the South African market, expanded by 64.1%, growing from 16 085 heads in 2023 to 26 399 heads in 2024.
In addition, slaughter activities at export-approved abattoirs grew by 98.5% this January.
The Namibian A2 producer price on average traded at N$71.86/kg during January 2024, while the Northern Cape A2 producer price averaged N$80.80/kg during January, N$8.94/kg higher than the Namibian A2 producer price.
“Sheep producer carcass prices have been on a downward trajectory as Namibian abattoirs struggle to obtain better-paying carcass markets. This has resulted in limited slaughter activity, a situation that may be altered in 2024 if alternative markets in Asia can be realised," said the LLPB.
As a result of increased lamb and mutton production in January 2024, a total of 48 172 kg of lamb and mutton were exported to various destinations, up from the 2023 volume of 13 952 kg.
South Africa accounted for 89.7% of all lamb and mutton exports, and 10.3% was exported to Botswana.

Pork sector
Meanwhile, 4 306 pigs were marketed at LLPB-approved abattoirs during the period under review, 13.6% higher than the 3 791 pigs marketed in January 2023.
Of the total pigs marketed, the Mariental abattoir slaughtered 64.5%, whereas the Haloli abattoir slaughtered 33.0%. Other smaller abattoirs slaughtered the remaining 2.5%.
A total of 431 250 kg of pork was imported during the period under review to cover local consumption shortfalls.
Of the imported pork, 70.8% originated from Germany, followed by South Africa and Botswana with a market share of 16.1% and 11.6%, respectively. The remaining 1.5% originated from China and other European countries.

Goat sector
The goat sector recorded a growth of 18.8% during January.
A total of 6 596 goats were marketed in January this year, compared to 5 554 goats marketed during the same period in 2023. The growth is owed to an increase in live exports, which grew by 26.5%. The performance of the sector was moderated by slaughtering activities at local abattoirs, which dropped by 94.1%.