Up to 30,635 heads of cattle left the country during the first three months of 2023 relative to 28,972 heads exported during the same period in 2022, according to the Livestock & Meat Industry Q1 Review released by the Meat Board at the end of April.
The South African market accounted for 99.4% (30,436 heads) of all live cattle exports while regional destinations Botswana and Angola took up the remainder for breeding purposes.
A total of 53,157 heads of cattle were marketed across all three segments of the sector for the three first months of 2023.
In terms of beef export, the country has exported 1,65 million kilogrammes in the first three months of 2023, this is however, low compared to 2,04 million kilogrammes of beef exported the same last year
This gives an indicated that the live exports marketing segment has recorded a growth of 5.7%.
“Of these animals, 30,436 heads predominantly 99.5% were weaners destined for feedlots in South Africa, 0.5% were exported for farming purposes,” the Meat Board said.
From the total number of cattle marketed during the first quarter of 2023, 57.6% were live exports, 30.2% were marketed at export-approved abattoirs while B&C class abattoirs absorbed 12.1% of market share.
Compared to the first quarter of 2022, B&C class abattoirs lost 4.6% market share towards live exports and export-approved abattoirs gained 3.1% and 1.4%, respectively.
The Meat Board added that the trend of increasing domestic uptake at export-approved abattoirs output is owed to improved producer prices offered by A-class abattoirs.
This trend in marketing has resulted in A-class abattoirs gaining an additional 1% market share during the quarter under review.
The country’s shift from more value addition to the supply of raw material is observed as the quarterly increase in marketed animals from the three years of herd-rebuilding is being exported live.
“The growth observed in the sector is attributed to increased volumes of cattle exported on hoof to neighboring regional markets,” the analysis read.
Despite the country’s intent and aspiration to add more value, and maintain its lucrative external beef markets- going as far as China and becoming the first African country to export beef to USA.
According to Meat Board observation, there has generally been a sustained decrease in South African and local weaner prices throughout the first quarter of 2023.
South African weaner prices continued to drop following an increased supply of beef due to export restrictions occasioned by FMD in that country.
The South African weaner price declined from N$40.47/kg in the first quarter of 2022 to N$35.50/kg in the first quarter this year.
The Namibian weaner price followed a similar pattern averaging at N$ 30.02/kg relative to N$ 41.59/kg recorded during the first quarter of 2022, a decline of 22.9%.
Although there has been an increase in the B2 cattle producer prices offered by export-approved abattoirs during the first quarter of the year, the all-grade carcass prices dropped by 0.7% and averaged N$ 59.93/kg during the first quarter of 2023 relative to N$60.34/kg recorded in 2022.
The cattle sector production was estimated at N$2,7 billion by the end of last year, increasing from N$2,5 billion estimated production value in 2021. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org