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Vietnamese Pig Herd Growth Fails to Meet Government Target

15 December 2014
Genesus - The first power in genetics

VIET NAM - Disease and poor pig prices are the major reasons the Vietnamese pig herd is not growing along the lines intended by the government's official plan, according to Ron Lane, Business Director for Asia Pacific and Meggie Vo, Genesus Marketing Representative in Viet Nam.

Viet Nam currently has about 26.82 million pigs (up 2.13 per cent from last year), while the on-farm sow number has reached 3.9 million head (an increase of 2.07 per cent as compared to the same period last year).

For the period from 2011-2015, the government had a plan on the raising of pigs to gradually increase on-farm inventory (number of sows and market pigs) and to increase the number and total carcass weights of the market pigs that would be slaughtered.

In 2011, the total pig population was 27.06 million pigs nationwide, the estimated total for 2014 fell to 2.7 million. The estimate for 2015 is to have 27.1 million on-farm pigs. The average annual growth reached 0.04 per cent / year (quite flat), but the total is 17.88 per cent below what was planned for the five years.

The lower number versus the target is due mainly to recent poor market pig prices; several farmers have quit or reduced inventory; many large scale farms have been affected by the reduction in the herd that takes place because of devastating diseases such as PED and PRRS-these losses have been noted since late 2013.

Recent profit losses along with the shortage of available funds and credit for the farmers from the banks are also factors to deter growth in the pig production business.

The past few months, pig producers have not had large scale disease issues and pig production input costs and other related costs have stabilised. Farmers are seeing the benefits and re-investment into livestock operations is being seen.

The price of fresh food such as pork, hams, beef tenderloin and chicken meat are quite stable and the market demand does not change too much during November, 2014. Specifically; market pig prices in the northern area is from 46,000 to 48,000 VND/kg ($2.19USD/kg-$0.99USD/lb to $2.29USD/kg-$1.04USD/lb.); while in the southern area, the price range is from 47,000 to 51,000VND/kg ($ 2.24USD/kg-$1.02USD/lb to $2.43USD/kg-$1.10USD/lb).

Farmers throughout the country in general are now focusing for marketing products for consumers for the Christmas 2014, the New Year and the Lunar New Year (TET) 2015. At this time last year, the prices for livestock and poultry increased approximately five per cent - 10 per cent.

But this year, with food prices in the summer time much lower and now the farmers have increased supply. This has led to some food prices to be lower at present time compared to the same period last year.

Starting in late October, the price of certain types of animal feed increased, such as soybean meal increased one per cent price; rice bran increased by four per cent ; cassava price rose by eight per cent compared to last year.

As of 23/11/2014, no province in Vietnam have reported any bird flu, blue ear disease(PRRS) and foot and mouth disease within the previous 21 days.

Allocation of pigs according to the following: Red River Delta is 25.74 per cent , Midlands Northern Mountains is 24.1 per cent , the South East is 10.51 per cent and the Central Highlands is 6.58 per cent

During the 2011-2015 government swine development plan, the total pork meat supply increased at an average rate of 2.12 per cent /year. In 2011, meat production reached 3.09 million tonnes; in 2013 it was roughly 3.22 million tonnes and is estimated to be 3.29 million tonnes for 2014. The plan is to reach 3.37 million tonnes for 2015.

The average weight of carcasses has also increased from 67.1kg (147.9 lbs.) for 2011, with an estimated increase to 68.2kg (150.3 lbs.) for 2014 and will reach about 69.5kg (153.2lb.) per carcass for 2015.

Thus after five years of development; to date pork production accounts for 74.2 per cent (2013) of the total production of all kinds of meat. The quality of pork is increasing to meet the tastes of consumers in the country. However pig production and pork production in Vietnam is still mainly from small farms-small livestock farms still account for 65-70 per cent of the pigs marketed and 56-60 per cent for the pork produced.

The proportion of the sows in the herd to on-farm pigs in Vietnam is 14.9 per cent (2013), whereas in most developed pig production countries the proportion of sows to on-farm pigs is eight to 10 per cent . This implies that the number of pigs produced per sow is quite low.

According to statistics from the General Administration of Customs, the first 10 months of this year, the country imported 1,943 breeding pigs (up 82.1 per cent over the same period last year), while the import of pork was 2,600 tonnes (down 1.2 per cent year on year). In particular, the number of pigs imported was 205 head (worth $205.177 USD) and the imported pork reached 243 tonnes (worth $ 695,014 USD).

Estimated volume of soybean imports for November, 2014 was 30,000 tonnes worth $16 million USD. This brings the volume of imported goods for the first 11 months of this year to reach 1.31 million tonnes, ( with a value of $ 778 million USD-up 17.0 per cent in tonnes and 14.2 per cent in value compared to the same period in 2013).

Estimated volume of imported corn for the same timeframe reached 399,000 tonnes with a value of $100 million USD, bringing the volume of imported goods within the first 11 months of this year to reach 4.07 million tonnes, (with a value of $ 1.05 billion USD-up 2.37 times the volume and 1.93 times the value compared with the same period of 2013. Brazil (52.9 per cent ), India (16.2 per cent ) and Argentina (8.0 per cent ) are the main suppliers for these commodities.

The value of imports of commodity groups and animal feed ingredients for November, 2014 was estimated at $293 million USD-bringing the value of imports for the first 11 months to reach $3.03 billion USD (an increase of 7.8 per cent compared to the same period in 2013).

Dong Nai province (near Ho Chi Minh City), has nearly 1.4 million sows (an increase of about 100,000 sows compared to the beginning of 2014. In Dong Nai, the market pig price at the beginning October, 2014 had increased to 57,000 VND/kg ($ 2.71 USD/kg-$ 1.23USD/lb.), the highest in seven years. On 25 November, 2014, the price of pork fell 10,000 VND/kg ($0.48USD/kg-$0.22USD/lb.) to 47,000 VND/kg ($ 2.24USD/kg-$1.02USD/lb.). This price is profitable for most farmers.

The consumer price index (CPI) fell by 0.27 per cent in November from the previous month; an increase of 2.6 per cent compared to the same period last year and an increase by 2.08 per cent compared to the beginning of 2014. Also according to the General Statistics Office, the increase of 2.08 per cent since the beginning of this year was the lowest in 10 years.

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