Pork prices keep rising to new highs

By Thi Ha   December 16, 2019 | 07:03 pm PT
Pork prices keep rising to new highs
Pork on display at a market in District 4, Ho Chi Minh City. Photo by VnExpress/Thanh Nguyen.
Low supplies courtesy of the African swine flu epidemic have pushed pork prices up 29.6 percent from a month earlier.

Small-scale farmers in the northern region were selling pork at VND92,000 ($4) per kilogram, up 29.6 percent from the five-year high of VND70,000 ($3) that was reached last month.

Industry insiders said the rise followed price increases by major pork producers. The C.P. Group, which has been increasing its pork prices steadily, has a sales price of VND81,000 ($3.5) per kilogram now.

At the Hoc Mon wholesale market in Ho Chi Minh City, pork supply has fallen by 23.5 percent from earlier this month to 287 tons a day.

Nguyen Tri Cong, chairman of the Dong Nai Livestock Association, said farmers in the southern province were unable to increase supply despite a high profit margin of around 50 percent at current high prices.

Authorities have been seeking to stabilize pork prices as Tet, the Lunar New Year, approaches (last week of January 2020). This is a time when demand for pork soars. One of the solutions proposed was to increase imports.

But Doan Ngoc Tho, CEO of meat importer THO Group, said at a recent meeting that global supply of pork has also reduced. The FOB (freight on board) prices at Vietnamese ports have doubled to $4 per kilogram, excluding taxes, he said.

Vietnamese importers also have to contend with China importing large quantities of pork from Europe, he said.

Furthermore, Tho said, selling imported pork has become difficult because their prices are higher than domestic pork.

The African swine flu has claimed the lives of 5.9 million pigs since it broke out in Vietnam in February, according to the General Statistics Office. As of October, the number of pigs in stock had fallen by 20 percent year-on-year, it said.

The country will likely face a pork shortage of 200,000 tonnes by Tet 2020, according to the Ministry of Industry and Trade.

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