The Meat Board of Namibia (MBN) has recommended a 30% levy on the export of cattle weighing more than 350 kg, which has been lowered from the previous 450 kg.
Any cattle for export weighing more than 350 kg will thus be subject to a 30% levy payable to the Ministry of Finance. Cattle that weigh less than 350 kg are not subject to the export levy. The levy will be charged under the Customs and Excise Act of 1998.
According to the MBN, market research has shown that the number of cattle that will be affected will not have a significant impact on the export numbers and the decision is thus supported by the entire industry. A proper survey was done to establish this and role players and producers were all in favour of the decision.
The total number of cattle marketed in Namibia increased in 2017 by 30%. In total, 421,000 cattle in the weight class of more than 350 kg were marketed in 2017 compared to 293,000 cattle marketed in 2016.
A total of 313,000 cattle with a 34% price increase since 2016 were exported to South African feedlots, while 172,000 cattle were slaughtered at local abattoirs. The average B2 cattle meat prices at export abattoirs increased by 16% in 2017. The cattle industry, specifically weaner production, experienced a positive year in terms of the prices offered to producers. Throughput to export abattoirs however decreased in 2017.
A 29.8% increase in the total number of cattle marketed was observed from 295,217 in 2016 to 420,646 in 2017. This was driven by the sharp increase in the live export of weaners to SA, of 47% year-on-year.
Reduced stock numbers due to droughts experienced in previous years resulted in decreased slaughtering numbers at both export abattoirs and the B&C class abattoirs.
Of the total number of cattle marketed, 65% were live exports, 17% from export abattoirs and 18% from B&C class abattoirs. Although the B&C class abattoirs only registered 23,455 cattle with the MBN, a total of 87,730 hides were purchased from these abattoirs. An undeclared difference of 64,275 cattle is observed.
Out of 83,790 cattle slaughtered during the reporting months, 854 cattle were slaughtered at the Meatco mobile abattoir in the NCAs.
The mobile abattoir is currently the only formal market available to NCA producers. The Oshakati and Katima Mulilo abattoirs are not operational yet, however together with the mobile abattoir they could improve competitiveness.
The Namibian weaner prices followed an upward trend between January and December 2017, moving on average from 16.96/kg in January to 34.18/kg in December 2017. Weaner prices increased by 33.58% year-on-year.
Decreased throughput at export abattoirs supports the gradual increase in the B2 beef producer price. The annual average price increased from N$30.11/kg in 2016 to N$35.98/kg in 2017 between January and December.
The annual average RVAV beef price stood at N$40.75/kg, 11.5% higher than the Namibian producer price, which was N$36.06/kg. On average, the weaner price per kg is currently equal to 70% of the B2 beef price.