Transparency is crucial to help pork market recover

May 18, 2020 - 06:09
Transparency is key to better protect the interests of businesses and customers in the pork market.


Pork products at a supermarket. The price of live hog in some Northern provinces reached over VNĐ95,000 per kilo in recent days. Photo 

HÀ NỘI — Transparency is key to better protect the interests of businesses and customers in the pork market.

An official from the Ministry of Industry and Trade’s Việt Nam Competition and Consumer Protection Authority said the State needs to build a solid mechanism for transparent disclosure of information in the pork market.

To put these plans into action, Cao Xuân Quảng, head of the authority's Việt Nam Customer Protection Division, said the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT), Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) and relevant State agencies should work together to have a website and a hotline providing transparent information about pork prices and receiving feedback from customers about unusual fluctuations.

He was speaking at a seminar on pork price stabilisation for customer interests held in Hà Nội on Friday.

In addition, they need to enhance inspection on pork prices to ensure price transparency.

He also said domestic enterprises should actively cooperate with State management agencies to have solutions to protect the interests of enterprises and customers.

On the same day, Lê Việt Nga, deputy director of MoIT’s Domestic Market Department, said at the MoIT’s press conference in Hà Nội that according to the Prime Minister’s requests, the ministry has been coordinating with other ministries, sectors and localities to review the domestic distribution, supply and slaughter systems from the pork production through to consumption.

At the same time, they have also been asked to find any problems in the distribution system and improve efficiency and reduce costs for pork. That would lead to reduction of pork price in the domestic market, she said.

The MoIT also directed the market management force to strengthen inspections and supervision of trading activities to strictly handle cases of pork speculation and illegal imports.

Nga said the ministry has been coordinating with large retail distribution systems to organise events for reducing pork prices. HCM City and some other localities have put pork into the list of stabilised essential goods.

Also at this conference, Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Đỗ Thắng Hải said pork prices fluctuate according to supply and demand and right now there is a supply shortage.

The MoIT reported the total pork output last year reduced by 20 per cent against 2018 and this continued a reduction of 20 per cent in the first three months of this year due to impacts of the African swine fever.

Some localities even reduced by 50 per cent of the pork output, including Bắc Giang.

Meanwhile, about 18 out of 63 provinces and cities nationwide have not announced the end of the swine fever and farmers are reluctant to re-produce pigs.

Hải said: “Some households want to re-breed pigs but they do not have capital for this re-production because of expensive piglet prices at VNĐ2.5 million-3 million each. So, the MARD has permitted to import pigs to restore domestic herds."

At present, the sustainable solution of increasing pork supply is to re-produce pigs, he added. According to localities and enterprises, by the end of this year pork demand is estimated to still increase after the COVID-19 pandemic.

The second solution is to import pork to increase supply for the local market, he said, however, if domestic supply increases, pork imports must be reduced to protect the interests of the domestic farmers.

The MoIT would closely coordinate with the MARD to import pork, Hải said. The MoIT has also directed Trade Offices of Việt Nam overseas to find partners to ensure prices and quality for domestic enterprises.

At present, pork importers do not need to implement import procedures at the MoIT, he said. They have taken import licences only from the MARD and implement customs procedures at the customs offices.

Hải expected from the end of this year, the local pork supply could reach the level it was before African swine fever.

The MoIT reported pork imports in the first three months increased by 312 per cent while growth rate of pig re-production also increased sharply. However, the pork price has remained high until now.

The price of live hog in some Northern provinces topped VNĐ95,000 per kilo in recent days, bringing the retail price of pork up to VNĐ160,000-180,000 per kilo by the time it reaches market.

Specifically, the price rose by VNĐ1,000-VNĐ2,000 per kilo to VNĐ94,000 in Thái Nguyên, VNĐ95,000 in Hà Nam and VNĐ93,000 in Tuyên Quang, according to the MoIT’s Trade and Industry Information Centre.

Those prices were stable at VNĐ93,000 in Hà Nội, Bắc Giang and Hưng Yên and VNĐ90,000-92,000 in Thái Bình, Nam Định, Hà Nam and Ninh Bình. Phú Thọ is the locality with the lowest pork price in the region at VNĐ88,000 per kilo. — VNS