Namibia estimated to yield total cereals above the 5-year average in 2023 – Report
Following the initial favourable rainfall at the end of 2022, which facilitated planting activities, dryer weather conditions in March and April 2023 affected cereal crops in southern Angola and across northern Namibia, causing extensive crop wilting and yield reductions, according to Agribank’s latest market.
According to the report, harvesting for the 2023 summer cereal crops is nearing completion, while harvesting for the minor winter wheat crop is likely to take place in September and October.
Moreover, the Crop Prospects and Food Situation report noted that cereal production for the Southern African region was anticipated to be at an above-average level of 40 million tonnes.
However, the adverse weather conditions and the tropical cyclones curbed yields in most countries, the report said.
“Namibia in particular is estimated to yield total cereals above the 5-year average in 2023, mainly resulting from the increased harvest from the irrigated maize production,” Agribank’s market watch report for August indicated.
It added that the tightened global energy supply caused by Saudi Arabia and Russia’s production cuts led to a sharp upsurge in the price of international Brent crude oil, rising by 8% to US$86.2/barrel in August 2023.
As a result of these developments, Namibia announced a price increase for petrol and diesel in early September, while higher fuel prices will exacerbate the pressure on the already strained consumer and high agricultural production costs. Further, global inflation stood at 4.7% in August, down from 7.3% the previous year. Despite the moderate inflation figures, food inflation remained high in August, at 10%, due to double-digit increases in vegetable, meat, and processed food prices.
According to the latest market watch figures, the total number of cattle marketed in July 2023 was 27,486 cattle, indicating a 9% increase over the 25,190 recorded in July 2022.
“Drought-driven marketing coupled with favourable producer prices led to increased slaughtering activities, rising to 11,909 cattle in July 2023 compared to 9,597 in July 2022. Live (weaners) exports increased from 12 482 animals in June 2023 to 15 577 animals exported in July 2023. South African weaner prices remained higher than their Namibian counterpart and averaged N$33.75/kg in July 2023, bringing the gap between Namibian weaner prices and South African weaner prices to N$7.33/kg, making South African weaners pricier than Namibian weaners,” according to the report.
In addition, the market watch further noted that the number of sheep marketed increased drastically by 37% to 75,827 in July 2023 from 55,304 reported in July 2022, adding that yearly slaughtering activities climbed by 8% and exports of live animals increased by 46%.
Similarly, goat marketing increased by 18.4% to 18,555 in July 2023 compared to July 2022. Of this total, 99.8% (18,527 heads) were exported live to South Africa, mainly to the traditional Kwa-Zulu Natal market.
“Despite earlier favourable conditions, adverse weather and tropical cyclones have impacted cereal production in the Southern African region in 2023. In the face of global challenges, cooperation among stakeholders is crucial to ensure a resilient and sustainable food supply chain and mitigate the impacts of economic and geopolitical factors. The livestock sector continues to realize improvements as marketing numbers increase,” it concluded.