21 May 2014 11:30am
WINDHOEK, 21 MAY (NAMPA) The marketing of livestock in the first quarter of 2014 was dramatically lower than in 2013, recent statistics from the Meat Board of Namibia have revealed.
The main variable which influenced this figure was the good rains experienced from December last year, which resulted in producers holding back and rebuilding their flocks, a Meat Board newsletter issued here last week stated.
This is normal, following a drought year in Namibia. Currently, at the beginning of 2014, there has been good rainfall in many but not all regions. It is expected to lead farmers in restocking their farms, resulting in decreased supply and increases in prices, it stated.
The exception is seen in the export of sheep, which increased a lot due to the Brukarros Meat Processors (BMP) experiencing a lock-out, stopping their operations from 27 January until 19 February 2014. This decreased the total slaughtering capacity, and pushed live sheep exports upwards.
Overall, producer prices have increased as predicted due to the mentioned reasons.
The beef price has seen very encouraging increases due to the Meat Corporation of Namibia (Meatco) receiving a larger part of the Norwegian quota, accompanied by a favourable exchange rate.
The total marketing of cattle by the end of the first quarter of 2014 stood at a level of 46 476 livestock units.
The overall performance of cattle-marketing decreased by 51.38 per cent, compared to cattle marketed by the end of the first quarter of 2013, which stood at a level of 95 588 livestock units.
About the slaughtering of cattle at export abattoirs, the Meat Board indicated that Namibias only European Union (EU)-approved export abattoirs, Meatco (Windhoek and Okahandja plants) and Witvlei reported a total slaughter figure of 16 682 livestock units by the end of the first quarter.
This figure showed a decrease of 35.86 per cent from a level of 26 008 livestock units as reported in the same period last year.
Of the total number of cattle slaughtered, 91 per cent were slaughtered at the Meatco plant in the capital. The average grades slaughtered were 31.87 per cent A-grade and 23.13 per cent AB-grade, while the B and C grades accounted for up to 22.70 per cent and 20.38 per cent, respectively.
A total of 1 621 tonnes of chilled and frozen deboned cuts were exported to the EU and Norwegian markets, while a total of 792 tonnes were exported to African markets during the first quarter of 2014.
Compared to total tonnes exported during the same period of 2013, a 48 per cent decrease was observed as a total of 4 660 tonnes were exported.