May 31, 2011

 

Vietnam ministry refutes reports of possible pork imports

 

 

Media reports that licences had been issued to import pork to Vietnam have been refuted by Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Nguyen Thanh Bien.

 

Bien said that no such licences have been issued. Previous media stories reported that the ministry had issued licences to import 100,000 tonnes of pork.

 

However, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development figures showed that pork consumption was roughly equal to national production, meaning there was no need for imports.

 

"Recently, a partial shortage of pork was reported because animal diseases were not controlled properly, resulting in transport restrictions and a number of households discontinued pig farming activities," said the head of the ministry's Animal Husbandry Department Hoang Kim Giao.

 

Although pork was plentiful in localities, it could not be transported to other localities, he said. However, Giao said proper controls were in place to curb disease and farmers had resumed pig breeding.

 

During the lull, some farmers took the opportunity to re-structure their farming practices and shifted to bigger, more efficient farming models, he said. For example, it took six to seven months for households to raise and sell their pigs prior to the lull but larger-scale farming reduced the time to about five months, so productivity improved, he said.

 

Total pork output was 960,000 tonnes in the first four months of the year, equivalent to 225,000-260,000 tonnes per month. The demand for pork during that time was between 247,000-248,000 tonnes per month.

 

The ministry said national livestock production was still growing compared to the same period last year despite the cold weather and diseases experienced in the early months. It expected supply would continue to satisfy demand till the end of the year.

 

This year, the country's total demand for meat is 4.2 million tonnes including 3.3 million tonnes of pork. Supply is estimated to be about 4.2-4.3 million tonnes. Vietnam exports about 13,000-15,000 tonnes of pork annually to neighbouring countries.

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