13 May 2019

Namibia: Nam to Keep Tariff-Free Beef to UK

NAMIBIA will continue with tariff-free beef export quotas to the United Kingdom after Brexit occurs.

The Meat Board of Namibia said in their May 2019 newsletter that Namibia currently exports roughly 26% of its beef to the UK.

"Negotiations regarding the continuation of beef exports to the United Kingdom are handled at the highest level, despite difficulties between the European Union and Britain regarding Brexit negotiations," the Meat Board said.

The UK had expected to conclude Brexit by 29 March 2019.

Moreover, the board said the Southern African Customs Union, to which Namibia belongs, is in the final stages of negotiations to establish a free trade agreement with the UK.

In the 2016 referendum on Britain's EU membership, 52% of Britons voted to leave the union.

Meanwhile, with Namibia experiencing one of its worst droughts, the Meat Board has advised producers to market their livestock as soon as possible in view of low prospects for the next rainy season.

They said chances for average to above-average rainfall for the current season are slim, and advised that plans may encompass the immediate selling of non-productive and old cows, and the early weaning of calves and younger animals which will suffer during the winter season.

"Feeding animals, especially cattle, is expensive, and producers must not shy away from seeking expert advice from feeding companies regarding feeding during a drought and the feeding of young animals," the Meat Board said.

Meanwhile, on an annual basis, the marketing of cattle from January to March 2019 decreased by 18,55 %, compared to the same period in 2018. Marketing decreased from 115 257 in quarter one of 2018 to 93 873 in quarter one of 2019.

"The decline in total marketing was mainly driven by decreased live cattle exports due to weak weaner demand in South Africa as South African beef remained closed to outside markets," the Meat Board added.

- charmaine@namibian.com.na; Twitter: @Char_Ngatjiheue.

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