Cattle market continues to decline

Agribank says the improved rainfall has brought hope to the economy that is battling with the Covid-19 pandemic, high food insecurity and existing structural challenges.

10 May 2021 | Business

Although the average in 2021 is still high, we observed a downward trajectory in the prices. - Agribank

The Agricultural Bank of Namibia (Agribank) has reiterated that climate variability remains a risk to the agriculture sector and to the economy at large.

Nonetheless, Agribank in its April Market Watch Report said the improved rainfall performance over the past two consecutive seasons gives hope for good crop harvest and improved livestock production.

“We hope improved rainfall recorded in two consecutive seasons will improve rangeland conditions and livestock production over the remaining period of 2021. Good rainfall is likely to have a doubling effect of rain-fed crop production, however, the locust outbreak represents a risk to affected regions,” said the report.

It noted the improved rainfall has brought hope to the economy that is battling with the Covid-19 pandemic, high food insecurity and existing structural challenges.

In Namibia, timely and above average rains benefited the southern and northeast while the northwest of Namibian regions continued to record rainfall deficiency.

Agribank said while there is hope for economic growth recovery, soaring inflation over the short to medium term raises fear of interest rate hikes.

STATS

It also expressed concern that the cattle market continues to dwindle, slowing by 40% in the first quarter of 2021 compared to the same quarter in 2020.

The number of cattle slaughtered declined by 22% year-on-year (y/y) while live export declined by 48% during the first quarter of 2021.

“Contrary to an annual decline, the number of cattle marketed improved by 40% in March 2021, through increased number of participants at auctions and the relaxed Covid-19 regulations helping to keep the live exports market and livestock auction active,” said the report.

In March, the total sheep marketed and live exports recorded a growth of 31% and 8% y/y respectively, and the good rainy season coupled with improvement in restocking rate relative to large stock contributed to high volumes, it added.

Further in March, the goats marketed also surged by 33% in line with exceptionally high rains received in the southern regions, Agribank indicated.

It said the price for weaners averaged at N$41.66 per kilogramme at the end of March this year compared to N%35.02 per kilogramme last year.

“Although the average in 2021 is still high, we observed a downward trajectory in the prices by 11% from N$44.49 per kilogramme in January 2021 to N$39.51 per kilogramme in March 2021, beef producer price remains elevated amidst side-constraints,” added the report. - Nampa

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