In the last 25 months Namibia has not exported a single consignment of beef to the United States market, this is according to the latest livestock marketing statistics compiled by the Meat Board of Namibia for the month of October 2022.
The last time the country exported to the USA market was in July 2020, when it exported 119 341 kilogrammes of beef to that country.
Namibia became the first African country to export red meat to the USA after it sent 40 000 kilogrammes consignment in September 2018, following two decades of haggling over safety regulations and logistics.
However, for the past 25 months it appears that the country could either not keep up or there was no demand – highlighting the potential of what the sector can do if it can produce enough beef for export.
The responses gathered from the experts in livestock marketing is that due to the drought of 2019, the beef industry is slowly returning to normal and hence there is a shortage of slaughter-ready cattle.
This has affected the throughput at export abattoirs, that is shortage of slaughter-ready cattle.
Namibia is known for its free-range, hormone-free beef, and it was set to export around 860 tonnes of various beef cuts in 2020 to the USA, rising to 5 000 tonnes by 2025.
It has also been noted that only Meatco was exporting to the US market.
For this year, the country has exported 8,8 million kilogrammes of beef to European, African, and Asian markets by end of October 2022. This exceeds the 7,6 million kilogrammes of beef that was exported for the whole of last year.
More than half (5,5 million kilogrammes of beef) of the total beef export was sold to the European market.
INCONSISTENCY IN AFRICA BEEF TRADE
After European markets, 2,1 million kilogrammes of beef was sold within the continent, with most of it sold to South Africa (1,9 million kilogrammes).
South Africa is the only country that gets to be supplied Namibian beef consistently according to Meat Board statistics.
Namibia’s beef supply to African markets is characterised by inconsistency with some months of no supply or perhaps no demand from the African market. The data does not however indicate if is Namibia exporting abattoirs that could not supply or if there was no demand.
Another African country that indulged in the Namibia beef is Angola, which bought 102 614 kilogrammes in two months, while last year they bought nothing from Namibia or perhaps they were not supplied.
Ghana followed, buying 62 086 kilogrammes of beef for only two months.
The Democratic Congo just came in once or was only supplied for one month, which was in August this year with 25 000 kilogrammes. Nothing was supplied to DRC last year.
Botswana is the only consistent country apart from South Africa that has been buying the Namibia beef even though in small quantities. For six months, the neighbouring competitor procured 19 999 kilogrammes of beef.
Tanzania also bought some of the Namibian beef, but only once in April this year, procuring 5 702 kilogrammes.
As for Swaziland they bought 19 040 kilogrammes and tasted the Namibian beef last year but this year they did not buy anything according to the statistics.
As for China, which is also a fairly new market, they came third as the biggest market for Namibian beef. China has procured 1,2 million kilogrammes of Namibian beef by the end of October this year, which is even more than the whole of last year.
The 8,8 million kilogrammes of beef exported by the end of October 2022, required 60 691 head of cattle to be marketed to the exporting abattoirs. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org