Beef exports below 2022 levels in April: Meat Board

Namibia’s beef exports decreased from 958 221 kilogrammes (kg) in April 2022 to 881 535kg in April 2023, representing an 8.0 per cent decrease.

This is according to the Meat Board of Namibia’s latest monthly report, which was availed to this agency on Wednesday.

According to the report, local beef uptake improved due to better domestic margins (expressed by the difference between local retail prices and producer carcass prices), resulting in Namibia reducing beef exports.

Local beef retail prices in April 2023 averaged N.dollars 96.30/kg.

It also said the livestock and meat industry experienced mixed results in April 2023, with positive growth in the cattle and sheep sectors offset by reductions in the goat and pig sectors. Beef and sheep producer prices rose month-on-month in April 2023 compared to March 2023 levels, while livestock producer prices fell at auctions.

Despite more meat being produced by export-approved abattoirs in April 2023, beef exports fell as more exportable meat was diverted to the domestic market. Mutton exports, on the other hand, surged in April 2023 as a result of higher volumes exported to South Africa and Norway by the two export-approved abattoirs.

Year-to-date beef exports stood at 2 533 748 kg by the end of April 2023, down from 3 001 904 kg in the same period in 2022. Because of increasing local availability of beef offal, which has traditionally dominated the import basket, beef imports have remained below 2022 levels.

Beef imports were 47.8 per cent lower year-on-year than during the same period in 2022, while year-to-date imports were similarly 49.6 per cent lower than during the same period in 2022.

The report further said as a result of improved sheep slaughter activity, mutton exports increased by 136.7 per cent during April 2023 compared to April 2022. South Africa remains the dominant export destination for Namibian lamb and mutton, taking up 57.3 per cent of all exports, whereas the remaining 42.7 per cent of exports went to Norway.

It noted that the Norwegian market is a lucrative destination for boneless lamb and supports value addition in the sheep sector resulting in better sheep producer prices.

Source: The Namibian Press Agency