The Meat Corporation of Namibia (Meatco) is making strides to ensure that producers are promptly compensated while capitalizing on the country’s thriving niche markets. In a recent announcement, the company has confidently projected another profitable month for July. This positive outlook follows a two-month period during which Meatco raked in N$297 million in revenue, a result of processing 19,431 cattle. These impressive figures come against the backdrop of reported weekly losses of at least N$5 million for the state-owned enterprise. The rising influx of cattle processed at the Windhoek Abattoir suggests a substantial turnaround in Meatco’s operations, potentially paving the way for a year of financial recovery spanning from January 2023 to February 2024.
The months of May and June marked significant accomplishments for the company, with revenue hitting approximately N$107 million and N$190 million, respectively. These gains aligned well with the livestock and meat marketing rebound experienced during the second quarter of 2023, as reported by the Meat Board of Namibia. The surge in exports at the country’s export abattoirs played a pivotal role in driving this growth, leading to an 8.0% increase in the number of cattle marketed compared to the same period the previous year.
A notable development is the shifting ratio between live exports and slaughter within Namibia. While live exports constituted 53.0% of all cattle marketed, the remaining 47.0% underwent slaughter at A, B, and Class abattoirs. This transition represents a 5.9% decline in live exports, indicating that producers responded favorably to attractive prices offered by A-class abattoirs. Export-approved abattoirs South of the Veterinary Cordon Fence (SVCF) saw Namibian B2 producer prices averaging N$61.06/kg during this period, reflecting a 0.5% increase from the previous year.
Meatco’s operational performance showcased steady progress, with a total of 38,401 animals processed. Of these, 2,079 were from the Northern Communal Area (NCA), while 36,322 originated from the SVCF as of the end of July 2023. Detailed figures reveal that the average slaughter weight and price fluctuated over the months. From January to June, the company marketed a total of 5,515 metric tonnes of beef, generating a substantial value of N$444 million across local, regional, and international markets.
A particularly exciting development for Meatco is the allocation of a 75% (1,200 tonnes) beef quota for export to the lucrative Norwegian market in 2023. This opportunity, extended by the Ministry of Trade and Industrialisation in collaboration with the Meat Board of Namibia, is a testament to Meatco’s commitment to expanding its international footprint. As of the end of July 2023, the company has successfully fulfilled 893 metric tonnes of the allocated quota.
With its sights set on a successful future, Meatco has projected plans to process 50,000 animals in the SVCF and an additional 10,000 in the Northern Veterinary Cordon Fence (NVCF) for the 2023/24 financial year. By staying focused on timely payments to producers and harnessing the potential of both local and international markets, Meatco is poised to continue its upward trajectory in the meat industry, fostering growth and economic stability for both the company and Namibia’s agricultural landscape.