Cattle marketing declines in first half of 2020
During the first half of 2020, cattle marketing has been halved following good rains in cattle
producing areas while weaner auction prices performed relatively well and live exports remained subdued.
On the other hand, the COVID-19 pandemic counter played the expected increase in cattle prices rather depressing producer carcass prices due to pressure in the international market.
The Meat Board of Namibia reports that the total marketing of cattle declined by 49.64% during the first half of 2020 wherein 126,075 cattle were marketed compared to 250,325 cattle marketed during the same period of 2019.
The notable decline is mainly due to the transition of producers to the production mode in the wake of rains that came after a sustained period of drought. From total cattle marketed, 60% were live exports, 24% were taken up by export abattoirs while B&C class abattoirs enjoyed a 16% of the market share. Compared to 2019, live exports and export abattoirs lost 4% and 2% market share, respectively
Meanwhile, auction prices for the first half of 2020 strengthened by 41.29% averaging N$32.65/kg compared to the 2019 first half average of N$23.11/kg.
Despite higher than average auction prices live exports declined by 52.83% suggesting a severe reduction in production owing to drought. On the other hand, producer B2 beef carcass prices remained relatively stable declining only by 2.34% at the half-year average of N$44.90/kg compared to N$45.97/kg in the previous year.
The Meat Board didn’t expect the decline during the production season of 2019 given the shortage of cattle in the market but manifested itself on the back of reduced demand for premium beef in the international markets due to the COVID-19 pandemic.