Billions earned in fish exports in 2022

Staff Reporter
The value of fish exports increased by 12.2% year-on-year in November 2022, compared to 22.4% year-on-year in October 2022, according to Simonis Storm. On a monthly basis, fish exports decreased by 47.6% in November 2022, compared to a rise of 0.9% in October 2022.

Year to date, the value of fish exports is 2.8% higher than the value of exports recorded in the same period in 2021 (January to November).

The major drop in exports during November and can be ascribed to the fishing year for the Hake sub-sector (November to October) coming to an end. The hake sector has the highest value and would therefore have the biggest impact on export figures.

Hake is mainly exported to Europe, whereas horse mackerel, the second largest sub-sector in value, is mainly exported to other African countries. Year to date, a value of N$7.8 billion was recorded in 2022, compared to N$7.9 billion in 2021. Fish exports account for 12.5% of total exports on average in 2022 and fish exports account for 5.7% of real gross domestic product (GDP) year to date, making the local fish industry a crucial export earner for Namibia. A weaker Rand/USD exchange rate would also have benefited export earnings in the second half of this year, Simonis Storm said.

According to the Namibia Statistics Agency (NSA), over the period January 2022 to November 2022, Namibia did not record any trade surplus, with the trade deficit averaging N$2.6 billion.

In November 2022, Namibia imported goods worth N$10.5 billion, and exported goods worth N$8.9 billion. This led to a trade deficit of N$1.6 billion.

Simonis Storm notes that the outlook is relatively flat to meagre growth for the local fishing sector. While the stock of fish is growing in the Hake sub-sector, it is growing at slow pace and so the total allowable catch (TAC) is unlikely to be adjusted upwards in the near future. The stock of fish in the horse mackerel, crab and monk sub-sectors are not growing, so quota for these sub-sectors will not increase any time soon, Simonis Storm said. –Additional reporting by Phillepus Uusiku