…Meat Board to commission competitiveness study
By Hilary Mare
AT its latest quarterly meeting, the Meat Board has approved in principle the commissioning of a competitiveness study for existing meat export value chains, Confidente reveals.
Confidente can also reveal that the Meat Board will now commence with the procurement process.
Desmond Cloete, the Marketing officer at the Board told Confidente this week that they need to get the livestock industry on track and therefore it was imperative to investigate what was causing the industry to decline.
“The livestock industry is not performing as it should be and we want to find the root cause of this and after which we will find appropriate solutions that we would propose,” he said
“It is already known that the competitiveness of the meat industry, especially the slaughter industry, has been decreasing for various reasons and that the factors responsible thereof must be quantified. With sufficient substantive evidence, recommendations can be made to the respective Ministries to improve the competitiveness of the industry,” the Board added on its website.
Cloete further highlighted that the Board had already developed the terms of reference for the tender and would go public soon.
“As you know that as a state owned enterprise we will have to follow the procurement policy and go through the relative processes for selecting the firm that will carry out the study,” Cloete added.
However, in its first quarter review, the Meat Board highlighted that the cattle sector experienced an increase in total production. This includes the number of cattle mostly weaners exported as well as the cattle that have been slaughtered at the local abattoirs.
“The price of weaners at auctions remains competitive compared to the same period last year as well as the B2 beef prices offered at the export abattoirs,” said the Board.
Comparing year or year, a 23.7 percent increase in the total production of cattle is observed, from 51 655 to 63 918.
“The increase is driven by the increase in exports, slaughtering at export abattoirs and slaughtering at the B&C class abattoirs. Limited rainfall experienced towards the end of 2017 and beginning 2018 were the contributing factor as producers tried to reserve grazing for available breeding stock. An increase in the total production of cattle is expected as more and more cattle will become available for slaughter and export. Of the cattle produced between January and February 2018, 77 percent were exported, 14 percent slaughtered at export abattoirs and 9 percent slaughtered at B & C class abattoirs,” further explained the Board.
Month on month, a N$2.80/kg reduction was observed in the average weaner price from N$37.26/kg in January to N$34.46/kg in February 2018.
The Board also noted that the increase in beef producer prices at export abattoirs (N$39.14 = Grade B2) supported the increasing numbers of slaughter cattle at export abattoirs (8,939) on a year to year basis. However, the average beef producer price reduced from N$40.73/kg in January to 37.55/kg in February 2018.
“The average South Africa red meat abattoir association beef price at N$44.66/kg was higher than the N$43.33/kg paid by the Namibian export abattoirs. A 15.4 percent increase was observed in the Namibian B2 beef producer price between 2017 (N$33.90/kg) and 2018 (N$39.14/kg) over the same time.”
The average Namibian weaner price is expected to increase which is driven by a shortage in the supply of weaners to the South African feedlots. Internationally, there is an increase in the production of beef and a decrease in the consumption thereof due to the economic slowdowns which creates a more competitive environment in the global market for Namibian beef exports.
“Drought conditions in Namibia forces producers to market their livestock, and therefore an increase in the number of sheep to be marketed is expected in the coming months. There has been an increase in the utilization of the ‘too lean, too small” due to a drought marketing arrangements. The price of pork decreased between the reporting months.
“This is mainly attributed to the increase in the supply of pork in the market in South Africa. Pork is the cheaper source of protein compared to beef and sheep meat and therefore puts a downward pressure on the price of the protein substitutes. Given the high production costs due to feeds, pork producers in Namibia remain at a disadvantage compared to South African producers. The current protection the sector enjoys, through the pork market share promotion scheme remains crucial,” explained the Board.
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