Vietnam spends nearly US$2 billion importing meat

Tuesday, 2021-07-13 09:12:52
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Vietnam imported about 70,000 tonnes of pork and pork products in the first six months of 2021. (Photo: VNA)
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NDO/VNA – Vietnam's total import turnover of livestock products in the first six months of 2021 is estimated at US$1.82 billion, a year-on-year increase of 8.9%.

The latest data from the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development showed that Vietnam imported about 70,000 tonnes of pork and pork products by the end of the first six months.

In addition, the import of milk and dairy products is estimated at US$650 million (up 14.5%), raising the import value of meat, meat by-products and edible animal by-products to US$727 million (up 51.5%).

The country imported 12,800 breeding pigs and over 2.2 million breeding poultry in the first six months of the year.

The main meat import markets of Vietnam are Russia, the US, India, the Netherlands and Poland.

Russia was the largest market supplying meat and meat products to Vietnam after the first five months of this year with 45,750 tonnes, worth US$97.49 million, up 493.2% in volume and up 437.5% in value over the same period in last year.

Nguyen Van Trong, Deputy Director of the Livestock Breeding General Department under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, said that due to the influence of African swine fever, the amount of imported pork from other countries to Vietnam increased sharply.

For example, Vietnam imported more than 141,000 tonnes of fresh, chilled or frozen pork last year, worth US$334.44 million, up 382% in volume and 502.9% in value compared to 2019.

Trong said Vietnam had continued to maintain a large amount of imported pork from the beginning of the year until now, but in fact, foreign pork only accounted for about 4% of the total amount of meat in the country, so it was not a concern.

He also added that in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, pork consumption is falling sharply, so it was forecast that the amount of meat imported this year would be less than last year.

As of June, the re-herd work of the livestock industry has achieved positive results – the pig herd increased by 11.6% with meat output reaching more than 2 million tonnes.

Cattle and poultry herds recovered with a total meat output of all kinds estimated at 3.16 million tonnes, a year-on-year growth of 22.58%.

The biggest concern then was for farmers. While the prices of products were low, production costs were high, plus the pandemic made it difficult to transport, meaning farmers are facing the risk of losses, Trong said.

He also said that live hog prices fell sharply, but consumers still had to bear high purchase prices.

The average price of pork in the markets is still at VND120,000 - 130,000 (about US$5) per kilogramme.

The reason was that there were too many intermediary stages in the process of distributing pork to the market, leading to difficulties between the three stages of production, supply and consumption.