The livestock subsector remains stagnant, mainly on the back of the dwindling offtake rates, the latest AgriBank’s market watch stated.
The dwindling livestock sector has cast a shadow over the overall agriculture sector, although some other sub-sectors such as the goats and weaners could provide a much-needed lifeline.
According to the bank, the year-to-year comparison shows that the number of cattle marketed increased by 6.1% to 21 317 in September 2021, compared to 20 089 recorded in the prior year.
The improved performance can be ascribed to the number of slaughtered cattle by export abattoirs, doubling to 4 771 in September 2021.
Although a gradual increase in the number of cattle marketed was observed, this remains significantly below the historic averages.
The total number of small stock (sheep and goats) marketed stood at 24 609 in September 2021, a 6.2% decrease, compared to 26 240 in the prior year.
“The decline can be attributed to an 11% reduction in the number of sheep marketed due to reduced slaughter activity at the Aranos abattoir.
Of interest to note is the M-shape in the number of livestock marketed over the past two years, suggesting a peak season between March to June,” the statement noted.
The price for beef remained elevated in 2021, recording an average price of N$54.7 per kg in September 2021. This is a 35% increase.
The bank said the rise in prices can be attributed to lower cattle marketed in 2021 YTD (170 838) – as compared to 194 991 in the prior year.
Supply constraints in the livestock market continue to drive prices up, the bank noted.
The price for weaners stood at N$38.5 per kg in September 2021 lower, compared to N$44.5 per kg recorded in January 2021.
The decrease in prices is consistent with an increase in the weaners export of 2.2%.
On the small stock front, the reduction in sheep supply subsequently led to a spike in the producer price in the market as demand continues to be strong, AgriBankl noted.
The price stood at N$55.6 per kg in September 2021, compared to N$50.2 per kg in the prior year.
While the livestock market continues to decline, the goat and weaners market seems to be faring well and could present an income opportunity for farmers that have adopted resilient and sustainable farming business models.
In line with the general rise in global inflation, Namibia’s inflation rate continues to edge higher, recording 3.5% at the end of September 2021.
This gradual increase can be ascribed to low base effects in the food and transport categories.
Furthermore, the rising was exacerbated by supply constraints for certain food categories and a rise in international oil prices.
Prices for oils and fats rose by 17.7% in September 2021 when compared to 6.5% recorded in September 2020.
“The growth in inflation rate was reflected in the price increases registered in cooking oil at (26.7%), Cooking fats (17.6%) and margarine and margarine spreads (9.5%).
Prices for meat were 12.1% more expensive than a year ago. The highest inflation rates within this category were observed in minced meat (19.8%), liver and kidney (19.3%), chicken (15.9%) and beef (13.0%),” noted the report.
Also, fruits increased by 10.2% in September 2021, compared to 17.9% recorded in September 2020.
Within this category, avocados recorded the highest inflation rate of (32.8%), followed by watermelons (19.2%) – and pears and apples at (17.4% and 16.0%).