By: Nghiinomenwa-vali Erastus
The Meat Board of Namibia said for the first three months of 2023, 68.5% of Namibia pork need was serviced by imports, inclusive of offal and processed products.
Tthree-month assessment has revealed, showing the agri opportunities the country possesses for utilization by entrepreneurs.
Due to the huge domestic demand, local retailers went abroad to secure the pig meat products being demanded by the market.
For the three months period, pork imports primarily came from Germany (52.8%), Spain (24.5%), South Africa (9.2%), and EU (13.4%), an increase of 4.9% during the first quarter of 2023.
In terms of volume, a total of 2,2 million kg of pork was imported during the first three months of 2023 relative to 2,1 kg volumes of pork imported during the same period in 2022.
During the period, local pork production catered only for 31.5% of the domestic pork consumption requirements and the remaining 68.5% was serviced by imports.
The Meat Board said the significant increase in pork imports from the EU market is owed to the foot-and-mouth disease outbreak in South Africa that has necessitated a shift to the EU market.
The shift has been associated with significant retail price increases due to import duties charged based on SACU, the common external tariff schedule.
An estimated 11,111 pigs are said to be slaughtered at Meat Board-registered abattoirs during the fourth quarter of 2023 relative to 10,935 slaughtered during the same period in 2022. This translates to a growth of 1.6%.
The Pork Steering Committee, during its meeting held on 13 February 2023, resolved to maintain the ceiling price at the December 2022 level of N$51.03/kg.
This is in line with the Pork Steering Committee resolution of 18 February 2020 as a risk mitigation strategy.
According to Meat Board, the higher of the calculated ceiling price and the fixed level N$ 51.03/kg will be maintained until a new proposed pork ceiling price is implemented
The domestic pig sector is comparatively small, but an alternative income source in Namibia particularly for SMEs.
The Board explained that the introduction of the existing price incentive scheme in 2012, the resultant ceiling prices, have helped sustain the existence of the local industry, by keeping many businesses from collapsing under the pressure of increasing production costs and competition from low-cost imports.
Hence, the pig sector grew firmly between 2013 and 2022.
The Namibia Agricultural Union found that local pigs marketed increased by 14% from 39,149 pigs in 2013 to an average of 44,615 pigs.
Growth in value terms was 111.6% from N$79,1 million in 2013 to N$167,4 million in 2022.
Although average pork ceiling prices improved between 2013 and 2022, from N$26.7/kg in 2013 to N$38.94/kg, the average prices for key inputs such as yellow maize and soybeans also went up, negatively impacting profit margins.
Namibia’s total pork consumption averaged 11,571 tonnes annually between 2021 and 2022.
Local production supplied 38% (4 344 tonnes) while the rest was imported.
Leading the imports (2022) were offals (57%), processed and canned products (19.4%), cuts (12.2%) and carcasses (9.7%). South Africa has for years been Namibia’s main source of pork imports. For example, in 2021, Namibia sourced 68% from there, 12.2% from Spain, Germany (5%), and the Netherlands (3%).
However, in the second half of 2022, the country had to scramble for pork meat and products, as imports from South Africa divided by 47.3% owing to the suspension of pork imports into Namibia from South Africa and Botswana because of the FMD outbreaks in those countries in August 2022.
As a result, imports from more costly alternatives spiked exponentially: for example, Belgium (by 1,011%), Ireland (by 757%), Portugal (by 252%), Germany (by 210%), USA and China by 100% each, pushing pork prices up.
This event points to the need to recognise the local pig sector as strategic, requiring accelerated further investments to boost the industry’s competitiveness and bring about a comfortable degree of self-reliance said NAU. Email: email@example.com