Viet Nam: Hog Markets

VIET NAM - After Tet (mid-February), food items returned back to more stabilized prices due to abundant supply and also small traders were back with steady but lower prices, write Ron Lane, Senior Consultant for Genesus Vietnam and Meggie Vo, Research Assistant.
calendar icon 9 May 2013
clock icon 5 minute read

According to the survey in a number of markets in Hanoi, prices of fresh food tended to decrease rapidly, more of a reflection of the overall home trade and growth. Consumers’ purchasing power has not increased as projected for the past year.

According to the General Statistics Office, the first quarter of 2013 the estimated size of the cattle herd in the country fell by three to four per cent compared with the same period last year. Total pigs were down from one to two per cent and poultry also decreased by two to three per cent compared with the same period last year. Cattle are lower as there was a high number slaughtered before and during Tet. As well, pasture acreage has decreased.

Following Tet, pork prices decreased rapidly as compared to the same quarter in 2012. Market pig prices as well as pork prices have fallen by 20 per cent compared to last year. Lately, hog prices continue to fall, especially in the southern regions. Farmers are seeing financial stress and have little incentive to invest in their farms (several farms are closing down or reducing their sow herd). Also the blue ear disease (PRRS) has occurred in the provinces of Nghe An, Quang Nam and Quang Tri. An estimate of about 3,000 head have died or been destroyed in early March.

Recently, and in the northern part of the country, the price of market pigs averaged around VND43,000 to 44,000 (US$2.06 to 2.10 per kg; $0.935 to $0.953 per lb. liveweight) while in the South, the average selling price for market pigs ranged from VND34,500 to 36,000 per kg ($1.65 to $1.72 per kg; $0.748 to $0.78 per lb. liveweight). In a recent conversation with Vietnamese swine farmers at a meeting in Ho Chi Minh and in Manitoba at Genesus farm sites, the consensus was that they were losing between VND300,000 to 600,000 ($14.34 to $28.69) per head marketed. These prices are down about VND7,000 to 8,000 per kg ($0.335 to $0.38 per kg; $0.152 to $0.174 per lb. liveweight) compared with February. Furthermore, these same producers outlined that small farmers, who must sell through middlemen, will be getting around VND32,000 per kg ($1.53 per kg; $0.69 per lb.). Market pigs sold that have been provided ractopamine will get VND400,000 per 100kg more from buyers ($19.00 per pig) than regular pigs.

As hog prices fell in March, this further pushed commodity meat prices to a lower level with a range of VND5,000 to 10,000 per kg ($0.239 to $0.478 per kg; $0.108 to $0.217 per lb.) For example, loin prices were quoted at VND90,000 to 93,000 per kg ($4.30 to $4.45 per kg; $1.95 to 2.02 per lb.). Pork prices further declined in April: pork tenderloin was at VND75,000 per kg ($3.59 per kg; $1.63 per lb.) a decrease of VND8,500 per kg ($.406 per kg; $.184 per lb.).

As reported by the Ministry of Trade and Industry, Consumer Price Index for March 2013 decreased by 0.19 per cent compared to February. Fresh food prices tended to decrease and stabilize (CPI in February increased by 1.32 per cent from the previous month). During, the time prior to during Tet, the monthly price index rose mainly due to food prices. Compared with February, the poultry was reduced by 10 to 20 per cent, the pork prices fell from five to 10 per cent but the price of beef and seafood remained stable.

Higher production costs are mainly due to higher input costs. Recently, several factors have been in play to increase production costs. These include:

  1. Heavy reliance on imported ingredients. In 2012, Viet Nam imported 8.0 million tonnes of ingredients worth about US$3 billion. These eight million tonnes were used to produce 15.5 million tonnes of animal feeds. One measure is that the price of animal feed has increased over this period by about VND20,000 to VND25,000 ($0.96 to $1.20) per bag
  2. There is a five per cent value added tax (VAT) on animal feeds.
  3. Local farmers have difficulty in obtaining capital and operating funds from the banks. Loans approach 11 per cent interest rates (these are preferential rates for farmers).
  4. Higher utility costs (especially electricity) plus increased cost for labour are also principal causes for the input cost increases.
  5. The local farmers dealt with widespread diseases including avian influenza in poultry and PRRS and FMD in swine. Now, those companies that provide veterinary supplies have increased the charges for drugs and vaccines from five to 25 per cent over the previous prices for these drugs.

Markets and trends in last weeks

Genesus Global Market Report
Prices for the week of 29 April 2013
CountryDomestic price
(own currency)
US dollars
(Liveweight a lb)
USA (Iowa-Minnesota) 90.42 USD/lb carcass 66.94¢
Canada (Ontario) 1.55 CAD/kg carcass 56.18¢
Mexico (DF) 19.60 MXN/kg liveweight 73.88¢
Brazil (South Region) 2.27 BRL/kg liveweight 51.45¢
Russia 68 RUB/kg liveweight 99.18¢
China 13.37 RMB/kg liveweight 98.70¢
Spain 1.343 EUR/kg liveweight 80.18¢
Viet Nam 38,000 VND/kg liveweight 82.41¢
South Korea 3,406 KRW/kg liveweight $1.43
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