Scarcity sends Vietnam pork prices to 20-year high

By Hong Chau   May 22, 2020 | 08:00 pm PT
Scarcity sends Vietnam pork prices to 20-year high
A woman cleans a pigsty. Photo courtesy of Vissan.
Pork prices hit a 20-year high of VND103,000 ($4.39) per kilogram over scarcity caused by the African swine fever epidemic last year.

The record-high price was confirmed in the southern province of Long An, the highest among all localities in the country.

On Friday, prices in the southern region rose to VND90,000-92,000 ($3.84-3.92) in most provinces, with Dong Nai recording a historic high of VND98,000 ($4.18). In the northern provinces, prices rose to VND94,000-100,000 ($4.01-4.26).

Giau, a trader in Long An, said prices have been rising in recent days, increasing 10 percent from just two days ago.

He said he did not purchase pigs at this price, afraid that the high prices will chase buyers away.

A senior official of the Animal Husbandry Association of the South-Eastern Region, who asked not be identified, said that rising prices in the last seven days was caused by a severe shortage of supply.

He said authorities last year had made the wrong move of urging farmers to switch from raising pigs to poultry amid the African swine fever epidemic, which resulted in the current pork shortage. The epidemic had led to the killing of millions of pigs.

Vietnam has increased imports but locals prefer domestic pork, so it will be difficult to contain the rising prices, he added.

Pork imports increased 300 percent year-on-year in the first four months, reaching nearly 70 percent of the entire volume last year.

The African swine fever, which is fatal to pigs but does not affect humans, broke out in February last year and caused pig numbers to fall by more than 25 percent between January and December last year, according to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.

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