Pork prices continue to be closely monitored

For months, pork has become a hot spot due to its high prices. To ensure supply and demand, and stabilize the price, on May 27, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) gave nods to imports of live pigs to meet the demand for fresh pork of Vietnamese people.
Consumers buy pork at a supermarket. (Photo: SGGP)
Consumers buy pork at a supermarket. (Photo: SGGP)

Many experts said that this was only a temporary solution. Basically, the Government and ministries need to have effective mechanisms and policies to encourage pig repopulation, increasing pig supply to compensate for the gap caused by the African swine fever epidemic.

On April 1, the price of pigs in Ho Chi Minh City and neighboring provinces and cities fluctuated at VND70,000-VND73,000 per kilogram, down VND10,000 per kilogram compared to that on March 1. However, on May 1, the price of pigs rose to VND86,000-VND89,000 per kilogram, up VND16,000 per kilogram compared to that on April 1, lower than the price of pigs in the North by VND4,000-VND6,000 per kilogram.

On May 15, the price of pigs continued to climb to VND90,000-VND93,000 per kilogram and now is at VND95,000-VND98,000 per kilogram.

In comparison with the same period last year, the current price of pigs is three times higher. Compared to the average price of pigs last year, the current price of pigs has doubled. The price of pigs also pushed the prices of pork to go up. At the Hoc Mon Wholesale Market, the price of pork cuts on June 8 and 9 was at an average of VND110,000 per kilogram, down VND5,000 per kilogram compared to June 1.

Noticeably, although the amount of pork arrived at wholesale markets in Ho Chi Minh City dropped drastically, according to Mr. Le Van Tien, Deputy Director of Hoc Mon Market Management and Trading Company, pork supply still met demand, so there was no shortage of pork. The main reason is that high prices of pork have caused the demand for pork to fall steeply. Many collective kitchens as well as citizens have shifted to use other foods, such as beef, chicken, and fish to replace pork.

The report of the Department of Industry and Trade of Ho Chi Minh City showed that the total pork consumption in the market in April this year decreased by about 40 percent compared to March this year, due to the social distancing order. In May, pork consumption slightly recovered but still dropped by 25 percent compared to March. Of which, the purchasing power increased faster in modern distribution channels than traditional market channels.

Ms. Nguyen Huynh Trang, Deputy Director of the Department of Industry and Trade of Ho Chi Minh City, said that authorities have drastically implemented measures to stabilize the prices of pork since early- April this year.

Along with measures to prevent speculation, profiteering, manipulation, and unreasonable overcharging; strengthen inspection, control the market, and prevent transportation and trading of pigs and pork with the unclear origin; authorities also guide provinces to promptly repopulate pig herds in a sustainable direction, and raise pigs in a closed and biosecurity model.

In Ho Chi Minh City, up to now, pork is still included in the list of market stabilization products. Specifically, enterprises participating in the market stabilization program continue to supply pork at the price announced by the Department of Finance, and ensure the output following the city’s plan, at the same time, run many promotional campaigns and offer discounts.

The amount of market-stabilized goods provided to the market was 4,700 tons per month. The prices of pork have been kept unchanged since January 1. Of which, the price of ham is at VND140,000 per kilogram, the price of pork shoulder is at VND139,000 per kilogram, the price of loin steak is at VND138,000 per kilogram, the price of pork ribs is at VND145,000 per kilogram, the price of peg joint at VND128,000 per kilogram, the price of pork armpit is at VND134,000 per kilogram, the price of pork fillet (shoulder and ham) is at VND161,000 per kilogram, the price of pork belly is at VND179,000 per kilogram, the price of pork tail is at VND115,000 per kilogram, and the price of pork bones is at VND70,000 per kilogram.

The price-stabilized pork is distributed at stores in the price stabilization program. Consumers can go to large distribution networks to buy pork with high quality and reasonable prices, including Co.opmart, Co.op Food, Aeon Citimart, BigC, Lotte, and Satrafood.

According to Ms. Nguyen Huynh Trang, the Department of Industry and Trade continues to closely monitor the market of pork and alternative foods such as poultry, seafood, and vegetables. The city will continue to encourage enterprises to increase pork imports and stimulate the frozen pork market, through propaganda, encouraging consumers to use frozen meat, increasing the supply of frozen meat for the processing of ready-made foods and processed foods.