Farmers are wary of raising pigs since the price of piglets have risen to record levels and supply is scarce. VNS Photo Văn Châu
HCM CITY – The prices of piglets have soared to VNĐ 2.5-3 million (US$108-129), two times the prices a year ago, according to farmers.
Trần Thị Hoa, a farmer in Đồng Nai Province, said they cost VNĐ300,000 per kilogramme, and piglets bought for raising normally weigh up to 10 kilogrammes.
“I decided not to buy even though pig on the hoof prices are very high at VNĐ76,000-87,000 per kilogramme on the farm in the south.
“But …I am afraid the Government could fix the price at VNĐ60,000, and I will suffer losses.”
In traditional markets in the south, the prices are VNĐ150,000-200,000 per kilogramme depending on the cut.
The prices have been rising since last year when the African swine fever decimated pig herds, and the number of head in provinces like Bình Dương, Đồng Nai and Tiền Giang plummeted from several million to a few hundred thousand.
Lương Quốc Hùng, a pig farm owner in Đồng Nai Province’s Xuân Lộc District, said he is raising some 300 pigs, and at current prices of VNĐ85,000 per kilogramme he would earn VNĐ2 million per pig.
The price is unlikely to fall because of low supply and rising costs, he said.
The epidemic caused a scarcity of animals and dependence on large enterprises, he said.
To buy piglets he has to order many weeks in advance and agree to pay an intermediary VNĐ100,000 – 200,000 per animal, he added.
On top of that, farmers have to pay for bran, antibiotics, medicines, waste disposal, labour, electricity, and farm costs as they raise and sell an 80-100kg pig for around VNĐ6.6 million, he explained.
To reduce the price of live pigs to VNĐ60,000 per kilogramme as required by the Government, it is necessary to find ways to reduce the price of piglets to VNĐ1-2 million, he added.
According to the General Statistics Office, in the first quarter of this year pork output fell 19.3 per cent year-on-year to 811,000 tonnes.
The output is expected to rise to one million tonnes in the third quarter and 1.1 million tonnes in the fourth quarter. Thus, by the third quarter the domestic supply of pork would meet around 90 per cent of demand.
In the first quarter Việt Nam imported nearly 25,300 tonnes of pork, up 205 per cent year-on-year, according to the Ministry of Industry and Trade. – VNS