Viet Nam: Hog Markets

VIET NAM - The first nine months of 2013 has been very difficult for swine producers. The first six months has seen losses. The rise in fuel costs, disease challenges and production costs-mainly due to increased feed ingredients costs, coupled with low market pig prices, have seen most farmers show losses during this time period, write Ron Lane, Senior Consultant for Genesus China, and Meggie Vo, Research Assistant.
calendar icon 24 October 2013
clock icon 7 minute read

Many farmers were seeing financial stress and had little incentive to invest in their farms (several farms closed down or reduced their sow herd). However, since July to the current date, market pig prices are showing signs of recovery. As well, consumers are showing more confidence in the pork market and are spending on pork products.

A recent survey done by the General Statistics Office at the beginning of April, showed the estimated total number of pigs to be 26.98 million, an increase of 1.08 per cent compared to April 2012. The total number of sows was 15.43 per cent of the 26.98 million total pigs or 4.16 million sows. September 2013 total number of pigs is down 0.5 per cent from September 2012.

Recently, the market price has been rising to return to a profitable level for farmers. In the first 6 months of 2013, the market price has been many times below the production costs and thus farms have showed unprofitable or less profitable cash flows. Market pig prices were: January, 48,000 VND/kg ($2.28US/kg-$1.03US/lb.)(north region) and 44,500 VND/kg ($2.11 US/kg-$0.96US/lb.) (south region); in March, 43,000 VND/kg ($2.04US/kg-$0.93/lb.)(north region) and 38,000 VND/kg ($1.80US/kg-$0.82US/lb.)(south region); and in May, 41,000 VND/kg ($1.94US/kg-$0.88US/lb.)(north region) and 37,500 to 39,000 VND/kg-$1.78US to $1.85US/kg-$0.81US to $0.84/lb.) (south region). Currently, the south region has market prices of 39,000 to 45,000 VND/kg ($1.85US/kg-$0.84US/lb. to $2.13US/kg-$0.97US/lb.), an increase in the range of 1,000 to 4,000 VND/kg ($0.05 to $0.19US/kg-$0.02 to $0.09US/lb) and the north region has market prices of 38,000 to 44,000 VND/kg ($1.80US/kg to $2.09US/kg-$0.82US/lb to $0.95US/lb), an increase in the range of 2,000 VND/kg ($0.09US/kg-$0.04US/lb).

In recent discussion with producers in Dong Nai province, market pig prices were about 46,000 VND/kg ($2.18US/kg-$0.99US/lb) and cost of production was about 41,000 VND/kg ($1.94US/kg-$0.88US/lb). Profit was about 5,000 VND/kg ($0.24US/kg-$0.11US/lb) or about $23.72US/market pig.

General Statistics Office has released the consumer price index (CPI) for August and it increased by 0.83 per cent from the previous month. August CPI has increased by 7.5 per cent (year on year as compared to August 2012) and increased by 3.53 per cent since 31 December 2012. For September, the CPI increased by 1.06 per cent from August. September CPI has increased by 6.30 per cent (year on year as compared to September 2012) and increased 4.63 per cent since December 31st, 2012. The most notable changes in the prices for August and September was the administrative adjustments-tuition fees, increased salary for health services and some food items. Two major impacts on the CPI in August were gasoline prices and increased electricity costs. Several increases during the summer showed more impact during August. Fuel price index had increased the transport group contribution by 1.11 per cent and contributed 0.1 per cent increase in the national CPI. Increased fuel and electricity costs will increase livestock feed and market transport costs and overall costs of farm operations.

Recently, Chinese traders have been buying heavier (100+ kg-220+ pound market pigs) pigs in Viet Nam-even as far south as Dong Nai and Binh Phuoc provinces near Ho Chi Minh City. These Chinese traders have helped to raise the local market pig prices by at least 5,000 VND/kg ($ 0.24US/kg-$0.11US/lb), along with a decline in the total market pig supply and with the increasing demand as the market enters the lead-up to Tet Holidays, a time when consumers will demand more pork for the holiday season. Part of the reason for the heavier pigs is related to the cost of transport, slaughter costs and that these pigs have less disease and travel well on long distances. The other reason for heavier pigs is at this time of the year-winter season and colder temperatures, the Chinese population in Southern China like to have more fat percentage in the meat to make their sausages (colder weather and the Chinese consumers like to have higher fat content in their pork diet). Recently, the Dong Nai Department of Animal Health said that the monthly average of 12,000 market pigs were collected and transported to the North to be shipped to China.

Furthermore, feeder pig prices have been increasing. At the beginning of 2013, a 25 kilogram (55 pound) feeder pig was priced on average about 35,000VND/kg ($1.66US/kg-$0.75US/lb). Now the same pig is fetching about 50,000VND/kg ($2.37US/kg-$1.08US/lb).

For the first nine months of 2013, Viet Nam’s imports for feed ingredients (mainly corn, wheat and soybeans) plus prepared animal feeds jumped 36.6 per cent year on year to a value of $2.37 billion USD. During the month of September, $302.64 million USD was spent on imported animal feed and ingredients, down 0.5 per cent from the same period last month. A comment was made that because of the strong dependence on imported animal feeds and ingredients, the price of animal feeds in Viet Nam is 20 to 30 per cent higher than surrounding countries that rely less on imports.

Recent corn imports were 1.34 million tons and soybeans were 897,000 tons. These ingredients come mainly from Argentina (25.6 per cent), India (14.6 per cent) and USA (14.5 per cent), followed by Italy, Thailand and China. About two months ago, soybean prices were at 14,000 VND/kg ($0.66US/kg-$0.30US/lb). Last month, this had been reduced to below 13,000 VND/kg ($0.62US/kg-$0.28US/lb). Soybean prices will decrease further in the final months of this year, as the price of soybeans for delivery in September fell to 12,000 VND/kg ($0.57US/kg-$0.26US/lb). Current delivery is 11,000 VND/kg ($0.52US/kg-$0.24US/lb). The world price for corn is now about 5,700-5,800 VND/kg (excluding VAT) ($0.27US/kg to $0.275/kg-$0.12US/lb to $0.125US/lb. Domestic corn price (dry corn) was around 7.000 VND/kg ($0.33US/kg-$0.15US/lb) in July. Now, the price has lowered to just 6,100 VND/kg ($0.29US/kg-$0.13US/lb). An interesting point is that now, prices of raw materials for animal feed production are declining in the global market, but still remain high in Viet Nam. Large feed companies are importing feed ingredients that are now cheaper than domestically produced grains.

From the beginning of this year, ten provinces have had cases of blue ear disease (PRRS). These include: Long An , Quang Nam , Quang Tri , Nghe An , Thanh Hoa, Ha Tinh, Nam Dinh, Bac Ninh, Thai Binh and Dak Lak . Currently,no provinces have major cases of PRRS. With foot and mouth disease (FMD) and from the beginning of the year, 5 provinces have had FMD epidemic. These include: Bac Ninh , Ha Tinh Long An , Phu Yen and Quang Nam. Currently only Quang Nam has cases of FMD.

Genesus Global Market Report
Prices for the week of October 14, 2013
CountryDomestic price
(own currency)
US dollars
(Liveweight a lb)
USA (Iowa-Minnesota) 86.08 USD/lb carcass 63.70¢
Canada (Ontario) 170.15 CAD/kg carcass 58.98¢
Mexico (DF) 23.5 MXN/kg liveweight 82.12¢
Brazil (South Region) 3.89 BRL/kg liveweight 80.70¢
Russia 77 RUB/kg liveweight $1.08
China 15.74 RMB/kg liveweight $1.17
Spain 1.375 EUR/kg liveweight 85.66¢
Viet Nam 6100 VND/kg liveweight 0.13¢
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