Weekly update on South Africa’s livestock and fibre markets

  • Last week saw a mixed trend in beef prices with class Cs extending recent gains on reduced availability across markets. In the weaner calf market, prices continued to strengthen on the back of limited supplies and good demand. Weekly weaner calf prices are now 66% higher than last year at R32.27 per kg live weight (LW). Weaner calf prices have increased by almost 14% in the last three months. We still expect domestic beef prices to firm slightly in the short term on continued moderation in supplies.
  • Lamb and mutton prices continued to post strong gains on the back of good uptake despite a substantial increase in supplies across markets. The short to medium term price outlook remains bullish given the  expected retention as the new pasture growing season begins.
  • Pork and baconer prices eased marginally lower as demand subsided towards mid-month. However, the reduced supplies due to the sharp fall in pig slaughtering help limit further decline in prices. We expect the local market to trend sideways in the medium term as seasonal demand conditions remain relatively subdued. Nonetheless, the strength in the red meat market should provide some support given that pork is a cheaper alternative. Producer margins are expected to continue to improve owing to the relatively cheaper feed prices.
  • Poultry: Avian influenza continues to cause havoc across the globe with a number of countries in Asia, Europe, North America and Southern Africa currently grappling with the disease. In South Africa, the agriculture ministry announced earlier in June that two cases of the avian influenza (H5N8) were detected in the Mpumalanga province. The authorities have confirmed two further locations this week in Gauteng, which brings the total of affected properties to four. The outbreak of the avian flu in the breeding flock is a setback for the industry as it has the potential to reduce the market share of South Africa’s products on the domestic market.

Download the latest pdf: Agri-Weekly: Livestock & Fibre Markets