Post drought effects had a negative impact on the livestock sector during 2020, as a 46,97% decrease was witnessed in the total marketing of cattle during the year.
According to the Meat Board of Namibia, cattle marketing decreased from 467,418 cattle in 2019 to 247 893 cattle in 2020. This drastic decrease was mainly the result of a drive by producers towards re-stocking after the drought.
The Meat Board said the Katima Mulilo Export Abattoir became operational during 2020 after support from the Government and the Meat Board and registered a slaughter of 115 cattle (excluding test slaughtering) during the year.
Meanwhile the Oshakati Abattoir will soon resume slaughter activities. Meatco continues to operate mobile slaughtering in Kavango West and registered an increase of 41,84% during 2020 with a kill of 1 661 heads.
Given the shortage of marketable animals, there was a surge in the price of weaners which continued until the end of the year. Namibian weaner prices averaged N$35.02/kg which compares favourably to the South African weaner price average of N$32.27/kg.
On the other hand, the Namibian B2 carcass price was more generally stable during 2020, contrary to an expected increase averaging N$45.50/kg compared to N$45.35/kg in 2019.
“A reduction in beef demand due to economic effects of COVID-19 took its toll on both local and international fronts,” the Meat Board said.