Figures by the General Statistics Office showed that the country’s pig herd fell by 22 percent in November compared to the same month last year due to negative impacts of the African swine fever. The Ministry of Industry and Trade said that decreasing pork supply was the main reason that caused the price of pigs in the market to escalate.
According to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, total meat production this year was estimated at 5.14 million tons, down 4.1 percent. However, pork is an essential food product and accounts for a large proportion of about 70 percent in food consumption structure so a drop of 380,000 tons in pork production, or 9-10 percent compared to last year, has also affected greatly to domestic food market.
According to the Animal Husbandry Association of Dong Nai Province, the provincial total pig herd has reduced by 50 percent compared to before the African swine fever happened in April this year. The shortage of pigs during the end of the year and lunar New Year might be greater than the figure estimated by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development because not only small-scale pig-farming households have not rebuilt their pig herds or they had already rebuilt their pig herds but the epidemic recurred, prompting a sharp decline in pork supply but closed large pig-farming farms were also hit by the epidemic, affecting pork supply at year’s end.
The current key issue is mechanism to import pork into Vietnam to meet market demand. The Ministry of Industry and Trade said that according to the Veterinary Law and the Food Safety Law, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development is responsible for controlling import of pork. The Ministry of Industry and Trade has collaborated closely with the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development to guide and create conditions for processing and food distributing enterprises, especially enterprises participating in the price stabilization program at provinces, to import the amount of pork that they is short of to stabilize the market at year’s end and during Tet holidays.
According to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, currently, there are 24 countries having received permission to officially import pork into Vietnam. However, the difficulties in importing pork mainly are cold-storage infrastructure to preserve and store frozen pork after importing and the demand of domestic consumers for frozen pork remains low so imported frozen pork mainly serves processing and manufacturing demand.
The Ministry of Industry and Trade announced that in the first ten months of this year, imported pork reached 96,000 tons, worth more than US$108 million, an increase of 101.7 percent in volume and 94.9 percent in value compared to the same period last year.
As for market, in October, pork was imported most from Poland, followed by Germany, the US and the Netherlands. However, the amount of imported pork has not made up for a shortage and the types of meat that people usually need to consume during Tet holidays.