ZIMBABWE – Zimbabwe imported a total of 370 metric tonnes of mechanically deboned meat (MDM) in the first six months of the year, signifying a 73% decline compared to the same period last year.
For the total imports, the country utilized US$317, 338 whereas in the same period in 2019 it amounted US$456, 350.
According to reports by News Day, the drop in volumes was due to the depreciation of the local currency which made imports more expensive relative to local animal protein substitutes.
Data from the Livestock and Meat Advisory Council (LMAC) has indicated that the average cost of MDM was US$743 per metric tonne, a 65% rise from the previous year’s US$450.
“As local meat prices continue to decrease in US dollar terms, the expectation is that imports of MDM will continue to decline,” indicated LMAC.
Decline in imported volumes was also registered with sausage casings, amounting to US$352, 869, a decrease of 32% on imports in 2019.
A total of 24mt was imported compared with 55mt in 2019, a decline of 56%.
LMAC said monthly imports of sausage cases reflected supply dislocations. For instance, no imports were registered in April while very small quantities were imported in May.
The average import cost of sausage casings for the first six months of 2020 was US$15, 962 per mt, an increase of 94% over the same period in 2019.
Disruptions in the meat processing industry has not only been witnessed in the Southern African country only, but also globally, triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to a report by Global Data, the global meat market will value US$1.3 trillion by the end of 2020, reflecting a year-on-year (YoY) decline of 5.3%.
This is a stark contrast to the expected robust baseline growth the industry was experiencing pre-pandemic.
Prior to COVID, the global meat industry was expected to grow at an annual rate of 2.6% over 2020 to reach a value of US$1.4 trillion.
However, the industry is expected to experience a soft recovery in the second half of the year as countries seek to reopen their economies.
“The COVID-19 containment restrictions had a big impact on the food service and traditional distribution sectors and prices fell almost everywhere in the second quarter of 2020.
“Severe supply disruptions have also been experienced. The outlook is gradually improving as measures are being eased in most markets,” LMAC said.
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