Herd recovery continues in 2021 – Meat Board
Herd recovery continues in 2021, after a persistent drought saw more than 1,362,364 million cattle marketed during 2017-2019 with a slow-down of more than half recorded in 2020, according to the latest Meat Chronicle report by the Meat Board of Namibia.
In addition, 2020 was poised to experience an upsurge in beef carcass prices but due to Covid-19, the demand for premium beef in Namibia’s key export markets, prices stabilised at an average of N$45.50 per kg.
With continued herd-rebuilding exercises, a further decline in cattle marketing is expected for 2021, with the Meat Board forecasting an indicated formal slaughtering of less than 53 000 cattle for the year. Up to the end of February 2021 7 775 cattle were slaughtered in the formal market.
The Meat Board noted that with limited slaughtering, prices are expected to increase as Namibia will find it difficult to satisfy market demands, but the Norwegian quota is expected to receive priority.
Currently, the B2 beef carcass price stands at N$50.54 per kg as per January to February statistics whereas weaner prices stood at N$42.74 during the first two months of 2021. The sheep sector experienced an unprecedented decline in marketing in 2019, leaving Namibia with only one export facility (Aranos).
Sheep marketing also decreased by half, which lead to a decline in slaughtering and a focus shift from export markets to local markets. This shortage caused an increase in market prices for meat. Producer prices increased from N$60.11 per kg in 2020 to 70.90 per kg in 2021. Due to a critically low sheep herd, producers were unable to take advantage of increased sheep prices.
The year 2021 is expected to see reduced marketing in comparison to 2020 but the rate of decline is expected to be less with total slaughtering forecast at just below 105 000 sheep. To date 8 798 have been slaughtered in the formal market.