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By:Nghiinomenwa Erastus

Last month’s beef slaughters at local butchers that supply the local formal market with beef recorded the lowest cattle numbers in nine months.

Observations from January to August 2021, local butchers have been supplied with 2 000- 3 400 head of cattle to slaughter – the lowest was 2 451 cattle in January; however, in September, the number fell to 1 579 cattle.

This is according to the Meat Board of Namibia monthly statistics for September 2021, released last week.

These figures reflect the number of cattle slaughtered at butcher’s plants registered with the Meat Board and do not factor in cattle slaughtered in the informal market.

The statistics show that the local cattle supply to butchers declined by more than 50% for September compared to last year’s slaughter (3 197).

Local slaughtering is divided into butchers that supply local formal markets/consumers and export abattoirs that slaughter for external markets.

The supply of cattle to slaughter to the local butchers impacts the price of beef around the country, as shown by the Namibia Statistics Agency, whose monthly food inflation went up with meat products experiencing constant price hikes.

From the 1 579 slaughtered for the month, only 86 cattle were slaughtered at the registered butchers on the northern side of the red line. The rest of the slaughtered cattle were on the southern side of the red line.

Again, on the statistics between the local registered butchers, the northern butchers only slaughtered 100 or more cattle once this year in April this year (102 cattle), while for the whole of last year, the northern butchers’ monthly slaughter has never reached 300 cattle to supply the formal market.

For the export abattoirs that slaughter to supply the external markets, the four registered abattoirs had slaughtered 4 771 cattle by the end of September 2021.

However, this is the lowest number of animals slaughtered collectively in the five months of September 2021.

From May this year, the export abattoirs had supplied/slaughtered between 5 000 and 7 500 cattle before it fell below 5 000 cattle in September 2021.

Compared to last year, September is a significant improvement as only 2 241 cattle were slaughtered at that time.

According to the Meat Board, the export abattoirs were supplemented with ready-to-slaughter animals by feedlots and imports from Botswana.

Zooming in on Meatco, their export abattoir recorded the most significant decline in the number of animals slaughtered for the month- compared to August 2021.

Meatco export abattoirs slaughtered 2 946 head of cattle in September, the lowest since May this year, while Beefcor deviations are not that large in monthly beef kills, the same observation is for Hartlief.

There was nothing recorded for the only functional exporting abattoir on the northern of the red line, Zamco, for September 2021.

In total, local butchers and export abattoirs slaughtered 6 350 head of cattle in September 2021, a significant decline compared to March to August 2021.

During the six months, more than 7 800 head of cattle were slaughtered every month.

Live export for September 2021 was at 14 967 head of cattle- the highest for the year so far.

South Africa took up most of the country’s live animals sold.

Overall the country has marketed 21 317 head of cattle for September 2021, a decline from the previous two months but an improvement from last year (20 089 head of cattle). Email:

Julia Heita

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