HCMC – Pork imports from Russia surged over 1,000% in the first quarter of this year, making Russia the biggest supplier of pork to Vietnam, according to the General Department of Vietnam Customs.
Data of the department showed that in the first three months of 2021, Vietnam imported 16,550 tons of pork worth US$44.85 million from Russia, soaring 1,116% in volume and 1,002% in value compared with the same period last year.
In total, the country imported 169,290 tons of meat of all kinds worth US$337.18 million in the first quarter, rising 0.5% in volume and 22.4% in value year-on-year.
The figure included 34,650 tons of pork worth over US$80 million, increasing 101.4% in volume and 102.3% in value year-on-year.
Vietnam has increased the imports of pork since late 2019 due to the short supply of pork caused by the African swine fever (ASF).
ASF significantly reduced the country’s pig herd last year, resulting in soaring pork prices. As of September 2020, ASF outbreaks were reported in some 200 communes of 19 cities and provinces nationwide.
Late last month, a herd of pigs at a farm in Lao Bao Town in the north-central province of Quang Tri’s Huong Hoa District tested positive for ASF. The Lao Bao Town government quickly worked with veterinary officers and other relevant departments to cull the herd of pigs.
Le Ba Hung, chairman of Lao Bao Town, said that ASF outbreaks re-emerged in the locality after two years. To minimize the damage caused and losses to farmers, the local authorities have asked farming households to adopt drastic anti-ASF measures.
At present, India, the United States, Russia, Poland and Brazil are the five biggest providers of meat to Vietnam.
In terms of pork, Russia, Canada, Brazil, Poland and Denmark are Vietnam’s largest suppliers. Russia accounts for nearly 48% of Vietnam’s pork imports.
Some businesses said one of the reasons for the surge in pork imports from Russia is that more Russian pork processing plants have been allowed to export pork to Vietnam.