Experts Forecast Stable Beef Price

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By Kuvee Kangueehi Windhoek Namibian farmers will continue to enjoy good prices for their cattle despite the lift on the world ban of beef exports from Brazil. Local experts in the meat industry expect the prices of beef to remain stable or even rise despite the fact that Brazil, one of the world’s biggest exporters of meat, has resumed beef exports to international markets. An animal disease outbreak in that country led to the ban on its meat exports. The Manager of Information Systems at the Meat Board of Namibia, Willie Schutz, said Brazil’s resumption of beef exports should have little or no effect on the prices of Namibian beef. Schutz said Brazil and Namibia do not compete in the same markets and thus the lifting of the ban would not significantly affect the prices in Namibia. He said although Namibia and Brazil export their meat to South Africa, Namibia has an advantage as it can deliver fresh meat while Brazilian meat is usually frozen. Schutz said Namibia being a member of the Southern African Customs Union (SACU) also enjoys better tax rates. Schutz predicts a rise in the prices of weaners and noted that with the rain forecast looking good, the prices could increase if farmers in South Africa receive a bumper maize harvest. Since maize constitutes almost 80% of the feed in the feedlots, it will be the biggest determining factor on the prices of weaners. “The prices of weaners will continue rising until it breaks even with the prices of maize.” The Manager of Marketing at Meatco, Andre Mouton, echoed Schutz’s sentiments and said that the prices of cattle should stay firm with the possibility of a slight increase. Mouton said the meat industry is now moving into the low supply season and that prices might increase slightly until the end of the year. Mouton added that he was surprised by the rapid increase and that prices currently are at a level they predicted in December. “It will be interesting to see what the prices will be in December if they are this high already.” Mouton further noted that the new abattoir Witvlei Meat would not affect the prices of cattle in the country because they are not exporting. He said the cattle that will be slaughtered at Witvlei will be those that are usually slaughtered by Atlantic Meat Market. “The demand and supply will not significantly change because Witvlei Meat is not totally a new abattoir.”

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