- FMD is the bane in the beef for Botswana and SA
- Namibia has taken full adavantage of BMC failure
For the second year in a row, Botswana Meat Commission (BMC) has failed to use its entire Norwegian beef quota for 2022 under the Southern African Customs Union (SACU).
This has emerged in a communique issued by the Meat Board of Namibia (MBN) that facilitates the export of livestock, meat and processed meat products to importing countries.
The communique says despite a decrease in beef marketing numbers during 2022 compared to 2021, Namibian beef exporters were still able to make full use of the country’s 50 percent share of the available SACU-Norwegian 2022 Beef Quota of 3200 tonnes. “Seeing that the quota is jointly allocated by Norway to Namibia and Botswana and that Botswana could not fully utilise their 50 percent share of the 3200 tonnes, Namibia was also able to supplement part of that deficit with approximately 255 tonnes additional,” it notes.
The communique added that the Norwegian market remains an extremely lucrative market for MBN which facilitates Namibian export of livestock, meat and processed meat products to importing countries. This is the second consecutive year of failure of the BMC to fully deliver its quota of 1,600 tonnes to Norway due to under-supply to its abattoirs by farmers, among other issues. Botswana’s falure has been a windfall for Namibia that supplemented the deficit with approximately 700 tonnes.
The Norway quota, provided under the Southern African Customs Union/Norway European Free Trade Association (EFTA) quota arrangement, allows preferential access of 3,700 tonnes of beef to the European country each year from Botswana, Namibia and Eswatini. Botswana and Namibia share 3,200 tonnes equally while the balance is allocated to Eswatini.
In 2021, Namibia exported its full quota to Norway and tapped into Botswana’s quota after the latter supplied only 865 tonnes out of its allotment of 1 600 tonnes. Reports indicate that a generalised system-of-preferences quota of 2 700 tonnes is allocated to Namibia or Botswana on a first-come, first-served basis, and the two countries can access the market for the European Free Trade Association/Southern Africa Customs Union quota of 500 tonnes through a Norwegian auction.
Botswana and Namibia were approved for export to Norway in 1995, and exporters have since had preferential and duty-free market access. Reports also indicate that export of beef from Botswana to Norway started in 1996, while Namibia had some problems with salmonella in the beginning and did not export continuously on an annual basis before 1998. The CEO of the Meat Corporation of Namibia (Meatco), Mwilima Mushokabanji, has been quoted as saying Meatco was the only commercial public enterprise in Africa exporting to luxury markets and maintaining access for Namibian beef to traditional export markets like South Africa, the European Union, the United Kingdom, Norway and Réunion.
“Through our Norwegian quota in particular, Meatco has never failed to fill our allocated quota. Infact, Meatco assisted to fill part of the Norway quota for Botswana,” Mushokabanji was quoted as saying. It is understood that because Botswana and South Africa could not export beef to luxury markets last year because the two countries were hit by outbreaks of foot-and-mouth disease. According to the MBN, Namibian beef is well placed in Norway and commands high returns. In comparison Botswana, Namibia receives better prices.
“Although Namibian average export prices increased marginally from N$189 per kg in 2020 to N$190,75 in 2021, the value of exports increased tremendously due to an improvement in export quantity,” the Meat Board of Namibia was quoted as saying in its issue of Meat Chronicle. “On the other hand, Botswana export prices increased marginally from N$100,10 per kg to N$101,40.”