The Meat Board, at its latest board meeting a fortnight ago approved an additional condition to the sheep marketing scheme quotas.
In a statement the board said, the additional conditions are effective immediately up until the next board meeting on 10 August, when this condition will be re-evaluated again.
The Meat Board said the conditions stipulate that instances where a producer sells sheep to an abattoir for slaughtering and selling, and the producer does not get paid by that particular abattoir within seven days for the sheep delivered, that producer will get an additional quota, equal to or less than the number of sheep delivered, for the export of sheep.
According to the board, all three sheep export abattoirs slaughtered below the 80% capacity despite an increase in the number of sheep slaughtered compared to 2016.
The Board has increased the total number of sheep exported during the first quarter of this year compared to the first quarter of last year.
“Increased price differences has a had direct impact on the live exportation of sheep as the price is more appealing in South Africa for a live export. Live exports increased by an impressive 32.3% in the quarter on quarter comparison,” Meat Board added.
The board said as per the regulations of the small stock marketing scheme and despite the price differences, producers are still compelled to slaughter at the Namibian abattoirs. Good rainfall and better grazing conditions led to larger volumes exported with 18,230 sheep slaughtered at B and C class abattoirs in South Africa. This is equivalent to an 8.6% market share.
An overview of the price fluctuations for A2 grade shows that lamb prices posted marginal gains in South Africa which resulted in the price difference increasing to N$6/kg in week 16 of sheep marketing.
“Higher prices fetched at South African abattoirs for live animal sheep export quotas necessitated growing exports,” board said, adding that despite the drought, producers failed to fully make use of the marketing measures in place for the exportation of sheep without export quotas.
No sheep was exported under the too-lean-too-small scheme and under the fat tail exemption scheme. “The fact that both schemes are under- or not utilized at all can be attributed to the fact that producers complain about the administrative hassles surrounding both schemes,” the Meat Board said.
“Brukarros does not slaughter sheep every day and therefore the sheep slaughter capacity alone is much smaller than from the Aranos and Mariental abattoirs. Farmers Meat Market only used 25% of its capacity mostly due to the fact that it has a much bigger capacity than the other two,” they said.
However, Meatboard said from January to March 2017, 99% of the sheep was exported under the sheep quota system with only 3 animals exported for breeding purposes.