Namibian cattle sector review for Q4

13 Mar 2020

Source: The Meat Board of Namibia

The cattle sector saw an overall increase in the total marketing of cattle in 2019 compared to 2018.

Due to prolonged drought conditions coupled with better producer prices, slaughtering at export abattoirs increased substantially by 71,26% inducing an overall improvement of 4,78% in the total marketing even in the face of the poor performance of B&C class abattoirs and live exports that recorded declines of 7, 66% and 9, 19% respectively.


Although weighted average capacity utilisation of export abattoirs for 2019 stood at 87,34%, it is worth noting that Meatco alone registered a 91,84% monthly capacity utilisation during the year, indicating optimal capacity utilisation. Due to the foot-mouth-disease outbreak in the major trading partner, South Africa, live exports declined during 2019.


Production and Marketing


  • Year-on-year, a 4,78 % increase was witnessed in the total marketing of cattle during 2019 compared to 2018. Marketing increased from 441 559 cattle in 2018 to 462 646 cattle in 2019.
  • The increase in total marketing was mainly driven by increased slaughtering at export abattoirs due to drought conditions forcing farmers to bring down their livestock herd to manageable levels. This driving factor was additionally supported by better carcass prices at the export abattoirs.
  • From the total cattle marketed, 63% were live exports, 28% were taken up by export abattoirs while B&C class abattoirs only enjoyed 9% of the market share. Compared to 2018, live exports lost 9% market share to export abattoirs whereas butchers also lost footing in the marketing of cattle by 2% to export abattoirs.
  • A total of 8 564 cattle were declared to the Meat Board by the registered B&C class abattoirs during the fourth quarter of 2019 bringing the total slaughter by B&C class abattoirs for the entire year to 43 331 cattle. This indicates a decline of 7,66% on 46 924 cattle slaughtered during 2018.


Figure: Total Cattle Marketed 2018/2019