By Deon Schlechter

– The composite livestock marketing index showed a downward trend in the second half of 2013 that continued in January 2014.

The index dropped to 104 in January from 125 in December 2013 and hence exceeded the index of January 2008 (100) only slightly. The total number of livestock marketed dropped from 112,464 in December 2013 to 84,196. The livestock marketing consists of four components: cattle sold to export abattoirs and butchers, cattle exported on-­‐the-­‐hoof to RSA, small stock and pigs. Compared to January 2013 (104,681), the number declined by almost 20,500. Since farmers adjusted the herd size to the prevailing grazing conditions during 2013, and since grazing conditions are improving in at least some regions of Namibia, it is expected that the number of livestock marketed will remain below the index of 2013 during 2014.

March 2014 Monthly Livestock Report

The index for Cattle – export abattoirs and Cattle – South Africa stood at 366 and 303 in January and April respectively. To improve readability, we have limited the index value to 300. More cattle were marketed to export abattoirs and domestic butchers in January 2014 than in January 2008 as the index of 165 indicates. The index thus exceeded the indices for most months during 2013 with the exception of January and March. The index of cattle exported live to South Africa declined significantly compared to 2013. However, the number of cattle exported to RSA exceeded the number of cattle sold to export abattoirs by about 900 (6,832 vs. 5,957) and hence continued the trend since February 2013.

The marketing of pigs showed a strong performance and doubled to 4,044 animals compared to January 2008. The upward trend started in the second half of 2013 and could be linked to the introduction of the Pork Market Share Promotion Scheme. The number of 67,360 head of small stock marketed was the lowest since January 2013. Subsequently, the index dropped to 79.