New conditions for sheep exports

By Hilary Mare

THE Meat Board of Namibia has unveiled new export conditions to the Sheep Marketing Scheme with the aim to offer sheep producers a competitive local carcass slaughter price.

The condition implies that both producers and abattoirs have a joint obligation to share the costs of the value addition in Namibia and are effective June 22019.

“A price difference of N$2.50/kg has been set, whereby should the Namibian export abattoir offer a carcass price to the producer differing with N$2.50/kg or less from the South African Abattoir reference price, an export permit will not be granted to the said producer, meaning that the sheep will be slaughtered at the local Namibian export abattoir,” said the Board adding that should the Namibian export abattoir offer a carcass price to the producer differing with more than N$2.50/kg from the South African Abattoir reference price, an export permit will be granted to the said producer to export the sheep to South Africa to be slaughtered there.

“Only sheep offered for slaughter will be eligible for exports. The Meat Board monitors the situation and, together with the Work Committee, they will address any shortages of the new conditions.”

Due to the small stock marketing scheme export restrictions, farmers are supplying sheep to abattoirs on below optimum prices as a matter of preventing a total loss of livestock. The Meat Board of Namibia is contemplating an interventionist strategy to encourage abattoirs to pay competitive prices while producers are also encouraged to support value addition ideals by slaughtering locally.

In its previous newsletter, the Meat Board noted that the long term sheep marketing trend continues to depict a gradual reduction.

“Due to the drought situation, producers have been forced to manage their livestock levels to prevent further deterioration pf rangelands and avoid losses from livestock mortalities.

“During the first quarter of 2019, a total of 104,196 heads of sheep were exported live, accounting for 59% of the market share. The sheep slaughtered at the export abattoirs accounted for 30% at 53,851 heads whilst those that were slaughtered at the B&C class abattoirs accounted for 11% with 19,133 sheep. Namibian sheep prices dropped by 9.45% from N$64.52 in the first quarter of 2018 to N$58.42/kg in the first quarter of 2019. Likewise, Northern Cape prices also dropped by 9.90% during the same period,” said the Board.

The price difference of the Namibian A2 sheep prices compared to the Northern Cape prices generally declined by 17.07% from -N$4.16/kg in the first quarter of 2018 to -N$3.45/kg observed in the first quarter of 2019.

“The Meat Board of Namibia continues to monitor the price gaps. Namibian C2 prices on average declined during the first quarter compared to the same period last year. The first quarter average C2 price stood at N$45.18/kg in 2019 compared to N$48.07/kg. This represents a 6.01% drop which is to the detriment of producers, especially under existing drought conditions,” extended the Board.

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