Beef Exports To South Africa

NORTHERN IRELAND, UK - It was announced in the middle of last Month that an export health certificate for the export of UK beef to South Africa has now been formally agreed with the South African authorities.
calendar icon 3 June 2011
clock icon 3 minute read

South Africa was an important non-EU market for UK beef prior to the export ban imposed on the UK in 1996 as a result of the BSE crisis. The agreed certificate allows for the export of deboned beef in anatomically recognisable cuts and/or recognisable offal (thick skirts, heart, liver, kidney, reticulum, blanched and singed bovine heels) to the Republic of South Africa.

South Africa may prove to be a promising outlet for UK beef in the coming years. GIRA, the international food consultancy, have included an analysis of Southern Africa in their Long Term Meat trends report and it has forecast that beef production in the Republic of South Africa will not keep pace with local consumption between now and 2020 (See Figure 1). Over the last 12 years, beef consumption in South Africa has risen at an annual average rate of 1.8 per cent per annum. It is expected that consumption will continue to grow steadily over the next 10 years, with annual average growth between 2010 and 2015 expected to be 1.4 per cent. Between 2015 and 2020 growth is expected to average 0.7 per cent per year.

The forecast for increased beef consumption in South Africa is based on expectations of continued population growth and ongoing increases in per capita consumption of beef (see Figure 2). With rising disposable income and with a growing middle class, beef consumption per head is expected to rise steadily to 14kg per head /year by 2020. Per capita consumption of beef in the EU in 2010 was estimated to be 16.4kg per head.

Beef production in South Africa has risen steadily since 2004, and although further increases in output are expected over the next 10 years, these are expected to be limited and driven by increases in non-commercial slaughterings. It would appear that there is little expectation for South African beef exports to increase in the next ten years. The export trade from SAmainly currently consists of a small volume of high-end cuts, exported to the Middle East and North Africa.

With supply not keeping pace with demand, it is expected that South African beef imports will increase by 11 per cent over the next five years. Gira forecast that the majority of this beef will be imported from South America, with some increased supply from Botswana possible. However, the agreement of an export health certificate between the UK and SouthAfrican authorities means that it is now possible for the NI industry to engage in this trade.

Instrumental in the achievement of this agreed certificate has been the work of the UK Export Certification Partnership (UKECP), a partnership set up between DEFRA and the red meat industry in 2008 to help overcome two of the most serious obstacles identified in export certification for third country markets, namely: visiting third country markets for face to face discussions and, producing the large number of draft certificates required for new markets as well as amending certificates for existing markets.LMC is one of the key stakeholders and funders of UKECP and this recent development is a very welcome outturn for the NI red meat industry.

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