The full impact on the marketing of cattle to South Africa as a result of the revised import conditions is still to be felt.
Thus, there is a need to develop in-house capacity to retain weaners in the country. No market currently exists for the cattle producers in the Northern Communal Areas (NCAs) and there has been a general decrease in the marketing of sheep during the reporting period compared to the same period last year, says the Meat Board of Namibia.
The marketing authority says lack of rainfall will result in less feed for cattle, which will in turn result in cattle losses for some Namibian farmers. Farmers would then opt to move into weaner production to save on the available feed, as well as associated costs, the Meat Board of Namibia warns.
The Meat Board adds that a decrease in the slaughtering at abattoirs compared to live exports can be anticipated. According to the rangeland status report, most areas in Namibia have received rainfall below average. This, therefore, means farmers are faced with the challenge of a shortage in fodder for their animals, resulting in low production figures and a reduction in the quality of slaughter animals.
“Emergency marketing will be witnessed as the months proceed. Abattoirs continue to face the challenge of the 60 percent levy on the export of raw skins, which contributes to the low prices offered to producers when compared to that offered by the RSA abattoirs. These factors could result in Namibia losing market share in RSA retail markets due to the inconsistency in delivery and lower quality products,” the Meat Board says.
A total of 19 138 pigs (1 608 tonnes) were slaughtered locally between January and May 2016. This indicates an increase of 3 470 from 15 668 pigs (1 316 tonnes) slaughtered over the same reporting period in 2015. This gives an indication of an increase of 18.13 percent over the two years. It can, however, then be calculated from Figure 6 that 1 700 tonnes were imported compared to 1 316 tonnes slaughtered locally.
C2 sheep prices have been subjected to fluctuations and differences between Namibian prices and that of the RMAA and the Northern Cape prices. The Namibian price traded lower than that of the RMAA and Northern Cape prices for the past 25 weeks, with the highest price difference being reported in Week 13 of N$5 lower than the Northern Cape, and N$8.13 lower than that of the RMAA.
Vast price differentials were also witnessed between the weeks 19 and 22, specifically.
Namibian abattoirs are unable to pay equivalent prices compared to the prices offered by SA abattoirs. The 60 percent levy payable on raw sheep skins is one of the major contributing factors affecting the competitiveness of Namibian abattoirs.