Q1 red meat exports grow but prices come down
An indication of resumed activity in the red meat industry is reflected in the statistics for the first quarter of 2023, covering the months of January, February and March.
In the first quarter of 2022, slightly more than 28,900 cattle were exported. For the first quarter this year, the market was marginally more active, seeing more than 30,630 cattele exported, as recorded by the Meat Board of Namibia.
Annual quarter on quarter, live exports grew by 5.7%. Exports consisted predominantly of weaners to South African feedlots. A few individual breeding animals were exported to Botswana and Angola.
Marketing volumes at Meatco picked up sligthly, recording an increase of 1% for the quarter.
In terms of weaner prices, there has generally been a sustained decrease in South African and local weaner prices throughout the first quarter of 2023.
South African weaner prices continued to drop following increased supply of beef due to export restrictions as a result of Foot and Mouth Disease. Consequently, SA weaner prices went from N$40.47 per kilo in Q1, 2022 to N$35.50/kg this year.
Namibian weaner prices went from N$41.59/kg to N$30.02/kg, a decline of nearly 23%.
The Meat Board said that although there has been an increase in the B2 cattle producer prices offered by export-approved abattoirs during the first quarter of the year, the all-grade carcass prices dropped by 0.7% averaging N$59.93/kg during the first quarter of 2023 relative to N$60.34/kg in 2022.
A total of 53,157 heads of cattle were marketed across all three segments of the sector for the quarter. Year-on-year, this represents a growth of only 0.15% indicating a consolidated recovery after three years of herd building following the devastating drought in 2019.