New Era (Windhoek)

Namibia: Cattle Marketing Declines, Sheep Prices Take a Dip

Windhoek — The volumes for cattle marketing, and the prices, declined in the third quarter of 2012, with few weaners exported to the South African market. The throughput at abattoirs also showed a negative trend during the third quarter, according to the Meat Board's Chronicle publication.

The publication says the economic factors which have contributed to the downward movement of the producer prices include Botswana selling its excess beef to South Africa at reduced prices since the country does not have full access to the EU market.

Botswana recently lost its access to the EU market because of cases of foot-and-mouth disease in that country.

The other contributing factor is the exorbitant feed prices that are putting South African feedlots under pressure, as well as the resistance from consumers to the high prices of beef.

The average sheep price has declined when compared to the first nine months of 2011. One contributing factor is the high lamb price, which is causing consumer resistance to buying lamb and as a result consumers are substituting with cheaper protein like pork and chicken.

On the hoof marketing of cattle to South Africa decreased by 43.60 percent from 154 306 cattle exported at the end of the third quarter of 2011, to stand at 87 032. A total of 16 391 cattle were slaughtered at the end of the third quarter, for local consumption.

The average beef producer price at the end of the third quarter stood at N$26.87/kg. At livestock auctions, the weaner prices closed at N$18.02, while the prices of storage and slaughter cattle stood at N$15.64/kg and N$13.37/kg (live weight) respectively at the close of the reported period.

At the EU and SA approved export abattoirs, total slaughter stood at 69 650 cattle at the end of this year's third quarter, declining by 20.58 percent from a level of 87 697 as observed at the end of the corresponding period for 2011.

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