August 18, 2011
Vietnam's meat imports gain favour
As domestic meat prices increase, imported goods are attracting more market goers and food processing organisations due to their competitive prices.
The CEO of a Ho Chi Minh City-based meat importer said prices of imported frozen meats have slumped by 20% compared to May, while domestic food prices soared in June and July.
Although imported frozen meats used to be sold mostly to industrial kitchens, which are companies contracted to supply meals for workers in industrial parks, they are now enjoying high consumption in retail distribution channels like markets and grocery stores because of their reasonable prices.
Nguyen Thi Tuyet, a small trader in Go Vap Market, said market goers prefer imported frozen meats since they could be as much as 25% cheaper than domestic ones.
Doan Ngoc Tho, Director of THO Company, said imported frozen chicken legs could sometimes be 50% cheaper than their domestic counterparts.
According to veterinary authorities, 14,000 tonnes of frozen meats were imported last month, a 115% increase over June.
The director of a food importing company said 1,300 tonnes of pork entered Vietnam in July, while the number was only 300 tonnes in June and zero in the previous months.
For his part, Nguyen Thanh Son, Deputy Head of the Department of Husbandry, said imported meats with a lower price could help meet the domestic demand since there is currently a shortage of meat supply due to disease outbreaks last year.
He said the department has yet to have any plan to either restrict frozen meat imports or impose higher tariff, which is now 20%.