Viet Nam News
HCM CITY — With the glut of pigs forcing local pork prices down to levels comparable with imported ones, some food processing firms in HCM City have suspended imports and increased local purchases.
A spokesperson for Cầu Tre Export Goods Processing Joint Stock Company said the company normally uses both local and imported pork for processing, but with local prices plunging, it has temporarily stopped imports. The company plans to buy 200-250 tonnes, equivalent to three months’ requirement, and stockpile, he said.
Nguyễn Đăng Phú, deputy general director of Vissan Co Ltd, said his company has stopped pork imports and is buying more pigs from Long An Province.
But the pigs must meet VietGap standards, should be bred under the Livestock Competitiveness and Food Safety Project (Lifsap), and must be from farms participating in a HCM City programme to trace their origins, he said.
Vissan has increased its buying from 1,500 pigs a day to 1,800 in the last 10 days, he said.
The HCM City Department of Industry and Trade held a meeting with food processing firms and retailers on Wednesday to discuss ways to stimulate consumption of pork.
It told the meeting that pig prices in the south are VNĐ25,000-30,000 a kilogramme (US$1.10-1.32), a drop of VNĐ13,000-15,000 from a year ago. The prices of pigs bred without following VietGap standards or being part of the Lifsap or origin-tracing programmes have fallen the most.
A survey by the department in provinces like Long An, Trà Vinh, Đồng Nai, Vĩnh Long, and Bến Tre found that a majority of pig farmers are small households who fail to keep abreast of the market. They mainly sell their pigs to traders for cash and are afraid of tying up with businesses.
Pig exports have been hit due to various difficulties in recent years, but farmers have not reduced the sizes of their herds, leading to oversupply.
Retailers told the meeting they have rolled out promotions to stimulate pork demand, which has increased significantly as a result.
A Saigon Co.op executive said 10-20 per cent discounts since April 25 have increased pork sales at Co.opmart and Co.op Food by 20-30 per cent.
Hồ Quốc Nguyên, PR director of Central Group Vietnam, said within a week of offering 20-30 per cent discounts on pork, sales at Big C have picked up by more than 30 per cent.
Lotte Mart supermarkets are also offering discounts of 10-20 per cent.
Nguyễn Huỳnh Trang, the department’s deputy director, said besides working with producers and distributors in HCM City, the department is also in touch with its counterparts in other provinces to explore ways to boost consumption.
It seeks to establish close links between farmers and businesses and develop an efficient supply chain for the pig breeding sector, she said.
Trang and others at the meeting agreed that the Government needs to have development plans for the sector to avoid a repeat of this situation in future. — VNS