Namibia beef imports, exports increased in 2022

10.2 million kilograms of beef exported
The bulk of Namibia's beef exports last year went to the European Union, with South Africa, Norway and China sharing most of the rest.
Ellanie Smit
Namibia imported 15% more beef products last year than it did in 2021, while its beef exports grew by 27.4%.

This according to the December monthly statistics by the Meat Board of Namibia, which said Namibia exported 10.2 million kilograms of beef to various destinations, compared to 7.87 million kilograms of beef exported during the same period in 2021.

A total of 46% of these exports went to the European Union, 20.5% was exported to South Africa, 12.9% went to Norway and the remaining 20.4% was exported to China and various African countries.

Similarly, year-to-date beef imports stood at 2 230 439 kg in December 2022, a growth of 15.5%. Of these imports, 75.1% came from South Africa in the form of processed products and the remaining share originated from the United States of America, the United Kingdom, Australia and Ireland in the form of offal products and beef pies.

Cattle marketed

According to the Meat Board, a total of 240 463 cattle were marketed in 2022 compared to 23 4 984 the previous year. Year-to-date, cattle marketing for the first time in three years recorded a growth of 2.3% during 2022 compared to 2021, it said. “During the month of December, cattle marketing declined by 34.5% month-on-month and 19% year-on-year from 16 278 cattle marketed in December 2021 to 13 183 marketed in December last year.”

This contraction was predominately driven by the reduction in animals exported live on hoof as well as those marketed through B- and C-class abattoirs, which dropped by 71.2% and 15.8% respectively.

On the other hand, marketing activities at export-approved abattoirs recorded growth of 18% by combining attractive prices throughout the majority of 2022.

Market share

The Meat Board said export-approved abattoirs and live exports gained market share of 10.1% and 2.3% respectively, while butchers lost 12.4% market share during December 2022.

Butchers accounted for up to 19.3% market share in 2021, but by the end of 2022, their market share dropped to 12.6%. Similarly, export-approved abattoirs that made up 24.1% of marketing in 2021 increased their market share to 29.3% in 2022.

A total of 139 613 cattle were exported live on hoof year-to-date to various export destinations during 2022, compared to 137 784 animals during the same period in 2021. Also, Namibia exported a total of 8 018 cattle year-to-date during December 2022 compared to 9 524 animals exported in December 2021. Of this total, 98.9% (7 931) were exported to South Africa, whereas 0.7% (56) and 0.4% (31) animals were exported to Botswana and Zambia. Of these exports, 95.6% were weaners.