Weaner exports decrease significantly

Weaner calf exports, which represent 63% of the total cattle market share, decreased by 49% during the reported period.

14 October 2020 | Agriculture

STAFF REPORTER

WINDHOEK



Cattle marketing decreased by 31% between January and August this year in comparison with 2019. This is despite producer prices that showed a 2% increase for slaughter cattle and a 39% increase for weaner calves, said the Meat Board.

Weaner calf exports, which represent 63% of the total cattle market share, decreased by 49% during the reported period.



Low supply

“This is mainly due to a low supply and a greater demand from commercial slaughter cattle producers.”

The Meat Board said the current favourable per kilogram weaner calf (200 to 250kg) price at auctions, and the per kilogram B2 slaughter price, encourage weaner calf production and can potentially initiate future weaner calf exports.

According to the Meat Board, it has, in the past few years, launched several studies and investigations in a bid to identify evolving markets.



Markets initiated

It said that in terms of beef, the South African, USA, Norwegian and European Union markets were initiated by the Meat Board or in conjunction with Meatco.

“Follow-up animal health and meat hygiene negotiations are conducted by the Directorate of Veterinary Services, whereas trade agreements, where applicable, are conducted by the Agricultural Trade Forum.” The Meat Board said it recently conducted research regarding several Middle Eastern markets which delivered promising results.

“Current markets are foot-and-mouth-disease sensitive and therefore Middle-Eastern markets can offer alternatives. We need to be cognisant of the current limited production of cattle and beef as a lead consequence of the 2019 drought and that further research on alternative markets will not necessarily lead to market utilisation.”

The Meat Board said current markets like the South African weaner calf market and the European Union beef market remain extremely profitable for Namibian beef producers.

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