The composite index of beverages, consisting of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, recorded 79.5 basis points in August 2020, which is a decrease of 6.7% points and 44.3 percentage points when compared to July 2020 and August 2019, respectively. According to the Namibia Statistics Agency’s (NSA’s) sectoral reports for August 2020, the decrease in the production of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages was mainly due to low demand.
The ban of alcohol sales in March to cushion the impact of the pandemic severely impacted profit margins for key beverage producer, Namibia Breweries Limited, and since then, demand has not recovered as expected.
“The non-alcoholic beverages index recorded 94.4 basis points during the period under review up by 10.4 percentage points and lower by 40.5% when compared to July 2020 and August 2019, respectively,” reads the report.
Total beverages production for August 2020 stood at just over 207 000 hectolitres compared to more than 224 000 hectolitres produced in July 2020 and in excess of 322 000 hectolitres in the corresponding month of 2019.
The alcoholic beverages index recorded 71.4 basis points in August 2020, down by 16% when compared to July 2020 and down by 46.4% when compared to August 2019.
The report also noted that the hotels and restaurants sector, which serves as a proxy to the tourism sector and which remains as a priority sector under the fifth National Development Plan (NDP5), declined significantly.
The index for rooms’ occupancy rate recorded 14.3 basis points in August 2020 up by 6.4% and down by 87.9% registered in the previous month and August 2019, respectively. The report further added that the index for beds’ occupancy rate stood at 13.3 basis points during August 2020 down by 14.7% and 90% recorded in the previous month and August 2019, respectively.
“When compared to the corresponding month of 2019, the declines recorded for both room and bed occupancy rates were mainly attributed to the traveling ban of travelers to curb the spread of the Covid-19,” the report explains.
The index for regional and international arrivals showed an improvement from the situation observed in July 2020, recording 3.0 basis points in August 2020, up by 42.1% but down by 97.8% registered from the previous month and August 2019, respectively.
Furthermore, the index for regional and international departures for August 2020 stood at 3.5 basis points down by 2.1% and 97.7% registered when compared to the previous month and August 2019, respectively. The lack of growth observed in both arrivals and departure was mainly attributed to the travel restrictions and closure of all points of entry into Namibia (air, land, and sea) in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.