RPO welcomes new red meat markets
The RPO welcomes the opening up of red meat exports to Saudi Arabia.
This is indeed very good news for the industry as well as in terms of Vision 2030 that was compiled by the four primary role players in the red meat industry, namely RPO, NERPO, Red Meat Abattoir Association and SA Feedlot Association and which formed the foundation of the current statutory levy. Vision 2030 is also aligned with the Agricultural Master Plan.
One of the focus areas of the new levy is Trade (exports) and this will ensure the growth of exports from 5% of local production to 20% for beef and sheep meat from 1 % of local production to 6% on an inclusive basis. This will also contribute to the growth within the emerging sector as well as to increase the profitability and sustainability of our primary producers. South Africa is currently 30% below the world norm in terms of price and therefore this makes the South African producer very competitive in the international market.
The South African feedlot industry ensures a very homogenous product which contributes to the high quality we are able to produce. These exports also pave the way for the export of live slaughter stock and genetic material to Saudi Arabia. Although South Africa has still not regained a foot-and-mouth disease status with the WOAH (World Organisation for Animal Health), currently we do export red meat to 28 countries under bi-lateral agreements.
The RPO has always held the view that our high quality South African red meat and products should be exported to the so-called Dollar, Yen and Pound markets. With the approval of these exports this can be seen as another step to ensure exports to markets with affluent consumers.
The per capita income in Saudi Arabia is of the highest in the world and this guarantees good buying power. This is in contrast to South Africa post-COVID where the growth in the economy is down, interest rates and inflation are high and the consumers’ buying power is under pressure. In order to increase our producers’ profitability, we cannot focus on the domestic market only and exports need to increase. The producer prices and the prices of weaner calves and feeder lambs have already decreased by 20% year-on-year.
The RPO would like to extend its sincere appreciation to the South African government for this very positive outcome in support of the red meat industry. We thank the President and Ministers of the department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development, and department of Trade and Industry which in consultation with the red meat industry opened up the exports.
We are also extremely proud of the red meat industry for their role in convincing the delegation that we have animal diseases and public health aspects under control.
We trust that the exports will also pave the way for the resumption of all exports to China.