The restrictions on the export of cattle on the hoof to South Africa that came into effect on July 1 hold more than a few implications for Namibian producers and the meat industry as a whole, especially considering the drought that the country is currently experiencing.
Producers who usually market weaners now need space on their land and slaughtering older animals is often the only option. Therefore, there is currently an oversupply of C-grade cows and heifers on the market. In July and August this year, the supply of cows increased from 17 percent to 23 percent in comparison to the previous year.
Compared to a normal rainfall year and considering that August onwards usually counts as off-season there is a marked increase in slaughter cattle on sale. With only one Meatco abattoir in operation, the waiting list is growing. Currently there are 4 200 cattle on standby for the third contract period which ends on September 30.
To assist producers, Meatco operations management increased slaughter capacity to the maximum, based on cutting plans and chillers. Therefore, at this stage new slaughter allocations are only given if another producer cancels his slaughter slot.
Meatco appeals to producers to remain patient, as the firm is working hard to accommodate as many cattle as possible at our abattoir and at our feedlots.