Meat industry records positive performance

Ellanie Smit
All sectors in the meat industry recorded positive performances during the third quarter of this year, posting favourable quarterly marketing figures in comparison to the third quarter of 2022.
According to the Meat Board of Namibia, a total of 91 154 cattle were marketed during the third quarter of this year, which is an increase of 52.3% from the 59 957 cattle marketed during the same time last year.
“The improved performance in the sector was driven by significant increase in the number of cattle slaughtered by export-approved abattoirs that more than doubled their slaughtering coupled with increased live exports.”
Butchers, on the other hand, reduced substantially during the third quarter of this year.
Furthermore, the Meat Board said the Rundu abattoir resumed slaughtering activities during August. As a result, a total of 632 animals were slaughtered during August and September.

Meat trading
On the meat-trading front, beef exports during the third quarter totalled 6 343.28 tonnes, increasing significantly by 102.65% in comparison to the third quarter of 2022, it said.
Namibia and Botswana share an annual 3 200-tonne beef export quota to Norway under the generalised system of preferences (GSP) as well as the Southern African Customs Union (SACU) and the European Free-Trade Association (EFTA) trade regimes.
According to the Meat Board, year-to-date exports to Norway stood at 911.21 tonnes by the end of September based on Meat Board-cleared consignments.
Top destinations for Namibian beef during the quarter under review included the European Union, taking up 52.51% of exports, while 22.19% went to South Africa.
The United Kingdom, China and Norway absorbed 9.48%, 9.28% and 4.98% of exports respectively while the remaining 1.56% was exported to regional markets.
No exports were undertaken to the United States, Tanzania, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Swaziland during the 2023 period.
Meanwhile, the Meat Board said beef imports during the third quarter dropped by 46.28% to place total beef imports for the entire year at 855.14 tonnes -which is a 49.55% decline. Namibia’s beef imports basket consisted of processed meat and offal products.

Sheep sector
The third quarter registered a growth of 60.94% in the total number of sheep marketed. A total of 190 825 sheep were marketed during the third quarter of 2023 in comparison to 118 569 marketed during the third quarter of last year.
Slaughter activities in the export abattoir segment increased by 186.10% during the third quarter of this year though, registering a decline of 75.25% quarter-on-quarter.
“This is owed to a dip in slaughtering activities that performed poorly during August and September as no exports to Norway were undertaken during the last two months of the third quarter of this year, the Meat Board said.
As a result, sheep prices at export abattoirs have slightly dropped from the last trading prices observed during the same period in 2022.
Due to reduced slaughter activity at the Farmers Meat Market abattoir, sheep meat exports slowed by 35.17% quarter-on-quarter, it said.
However, year-on-year, exports grew by 276.02%.
Exports of sheep meat are likely to remain at lower levels during the fourth quarter of 2023 due to depressed international prices coupled with improved local prices linked to festive demand, it added.

Goat sector
The third quarter recorded an improved performance in goat marketing, with a total of 46 807 goats marketed during the quarter, bringing year-to-date marketing to a level of 104 824 goats - which represents a 7.55% increase.
A decline in goats slaughtered both north and south of the veterinary cordon fence was observed, while live exports to South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe and Zambia were observed.

Pork sector
Further, the number of pigs slaughtered at Meat Board- approved abattoirs dipped by 4.23% during the period under review.
A total of 11 020 pigs were slaughtered by Meat Board- registered pig abattoirs to produce a total of 1 060 tonnes.
However, this production only catered for 57.36% of local fresh pork consumption requirements, necessitating the import of 786 tonnes of fresh and processed pork to cover the gap.
The Meat Board said of the total volume of pork imports, 66.48% was composed of pork offal, whereas pork cuts, cooked pork and uncooked processed pork made up 11.33% and 22.18% of the pork import basket respectively.