CAN THO – Efforts in reviving pig herds and increased pork imports have sent live pig prices plunging down over the past few months.
After African swine fever outbreaks in several provinces and cities last year, the prices of live pigs rose strongly, up to VND90,000 per kilogram due to the undersupply. However, the domestic pig price has tumbled to some VND40,000 per kilogram.
In the northern region, live pig prices are hovering between VND38,000 and VND42,000 a kilogram, while the central region is seeing prices of VND41,000-47,000 a kilogram. A kilogram of live pigs in the Central Highlands region is VND43,000-44,000.
Nguyen Van Quyet, vice chairman of the Animal Husbandry Association of the Southeastern region, said that the hike in pig prices after the African swine fever outbreaks had urged farmers to revive their pig herds, while the Government ordered the relevant agencies to regulate the market by raising pork imports.
“A concurrence of domestic pig farming activities and pork imports has sent pig prices down sharply,” he said.
As of August, the southern region had a total of some eight million live pigs with an output of 869,000 tons of pork, up 3% year-on-year, according to data from a working team of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.
An additional 430,000 tons of pork is expected to be supplied to the market during the rest of the year.
Between January and August, Vietnam imported some 257,000 tons of pork worth US$508 million, surging by 62.2% in volume and 83.8% in value year-on-year, according to the Department of Livestock Production under the ministry.
As the price of live pigs has surged, it is necessary to import pork to regulate the market, said Quyet, adding that the volume of imports should be controlled to protect domestic farmers.
If farmers face heavy losses due to the drop in pig prices, they might stop farming pigs, resulting in negative impacts on agricultural production activities.