NAMIBIA – Namibia has exported more live animals than it has slaughtered for value addition, in the first five months of the year, in turn leading to the country importing more beef than usual.

This was revealed by the Meat Board of Namibia, indicating that the country exported 45 623 live animals, while local slaughtering stood at 29 379 head of cattle for both export and local consumption during the period under review.

Out of the total live animals exported which was 66.80% higher than the previous comparable period, 44 103 cattle were sold to South Africa and the rest to Angola.

In turn, South Africa was the leading supplier of beef to Namibia, alongside Europe and Australia, with the semi-arid Southern African country importing 912, 875 kg of beef.

In terms of exports, the country has sold 1.8 million kg of beef from the slaughtering of 18 ,156 head of cattle by the end of May.

This is a decrease from the 3.3 million kg of beef sold last year from slaughtering of 23, 396 head of cattle.

The decline in slaughter animals has seen beef prices rising, with the B2 beef price recording the highest level in May.

According to reports by The Namibian, the country is gradually becoming a weaner-exporting country as producers are not happy with the earnings from sale of slaughter-ready animals.

Namibia exported 45 623 live animals, while local slaughtering stood at 29 379 head of cattle

The trend was also noted in the previous year, with Namibia’s beef export drastically declined from 26.6 million kilograms of 2019 to 8.4 million kilograms in 2020.

To avert the situation, the government has been raking in support to bolster the sector as it recently relaunched operations at the Katima Mulilo abattoir after injecting N$14 million (US$845K) to renovate the facility.

Meatco, is also scouting for new markets in a bid to expand its base and earning.

The country being one of Africa’s leading exporter of meat, recently signed a general cooperation framework agreement with Ghana that seeks to promote bilateral trade ties.

The agreement will see Namibia exporting its meat to the West African nation, riding on the back of building the African Continental Free Trade Area.

Namibia also became the first country on the continent to export red meat to the United States after sending 25 tonnes of beef to Philadelphia in February 2020, following two decades of haggling over safety regulations and logistics.

In March 2019, the country became the second African nation, after South Africa, to meet China’s beef import requirements following negotiations that began in 2011 when an agreement on animal health and quarantine was signed in Beijing.

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