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Meat Board reports cattle exports decline for December 2022

Meat Board reports cattle exports decline for December 2022

By Adolf Kaure.

Namibia’s beef market recorded a decline of 37.88% in the number of cattle exported in December last year as indicated by the monthly meat market report released by the Meat Board of Namibia (MBN) released on Friday.

This equates to 8018 head of cattle exported in December 2022, down from the 12908 units exported in November.

According to the report, the total slaughter in Namibia has also dropped by 37.67% with only 4494 cattle slaughtered across all abattoirs in Namibia.

The price for all-grade average carcasses increased by N$1.44/kg, adding to last month’s level was N$60.63. Weaner prices remained steady at N$38.17/kg only dropping N$0.35 from the November price of N$38.52/kg.

Weaner prices continued trending sideways during December. The steadiness of the price could be attributed to reduced demand due to filled feedlot capacity in South Africa at year-end, an annual occurrence. Previous trends show that during January prices can trend upwards up to March. A2 prices are expected to trend upwards during January.

The B2 Weaner price ratio currently stands at 60% for the month of January 2022. This is 4% lower than the benchmark ratio of 64%. This drop implies that if the trend is sustained, it will be more profitable to grow weaners to slaughter weight as opposed to export weaners.

Total cattle marketing declined by 37.80% from November. This decline was due to reduced slaughter at export and local abattoirs as well as a drop in live exports.

Historic trends indicate that livestock exports are to remain low and only pick up momentum March. Similar trends are seen in slaughter at local and export abattoirs.

SAFEX Feed prices have declined between November and December by 5.68%. Although easing from the rapid increase experienced during the year, feed costs remain expensive for farmers.

Projections indicate that yellow maize will remain below N$5000/ton throughout 2023.

December 2022 saw Australian producer prices drop below EU and USA prices for the first time in 2022. Australian producer prices were recorded at N$76.44/kg; a decline of N$13.11/kg from the November price level of N$89.56. This is noted to be a result of the oversupply of cattle ahead of holiday abattoir closure causing an oversupply at Australian abattoirs. Highest price producers received was N$119.62/kg in September.

The European Union producer prices have peaked during December, reaching N$92.63/kg. The producer prices have increased by 23.60% since January 2022. This is increase is due to a recovery in prices seen throughout Europe where in Ireland prices increased by 13% from November. The rise in prices could be due to continuous demand for manufacturing beef as well as tight supplies in northern European markets.

The United States producer price increased by N$1.17/kg in December 2022, and was the highest price compared to other competing markets in the Meat Board International Price Benchmark. Up to 78% of the United States is currently experiencing a drought, which is projected to continue through 2023. The drought conditions paired with the winter weather have put a strain on cattle supply to abattoirs, resulting in reduced slaughter and an increase in beef prices.


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