Trade ministry supports frozen pork stockpiling to prevent shortage
The Ministry of Industry and Trade pledges to put forward a policy encouraging the purchase of pigs and storage of frozen pork to cope with a shortage in the pork supply in the future, amid the spread of African swine fever (ASF).
Speaking at a meeting in Hanoi on May 30, Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Do Thang Hai noted that ASF is complicated and unpredictable, inflicting severe damage on agricultural production, affecting residents’ lives, causing market instability and posing a high risk of supply and demand imbalance.
His ministry has coordinated with the concerned ministries and agencies to stockpile frozen pork and stabilize the prices of pork in the coming months and quarters.
Hai pointed out that pork products are being sold at extremely low prices, due to reduced demand. However, in terms of supply and demand, if new herds of pigs are not being bred, the future pork supply in the next three to four months is uncertain.
“Though the prices of pork are at very low levels, what is more worrisome is that there may be no pork available for sale in the coming months,” he noted.
He stated that the responsibility lies with not only the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development but also the entire country. The trade ministry will make every effort to secure the pork supply and demand.
Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Phung Duc Tien said that ASF has struck many countries across the world, and so far, there is no vaccine to contain the viral disease.
“One of the most urgent and effective solutions is to buy healthy pigs and stockpile frozen pork,” he said, adding that if supply dwindles in the next few months, frozen pork will be made available on the market.
However, other attendees argued it would not be easy to store large volumes of pork due to the limited capacity and equipment at local firms.
Le Van Loc, deputy director of the Department of Industry and Trade in the southern province of Dong Nai, explained that the country’s largest pig-farming province does not even have a cold-storage warehouse that can meet the standard criteria.
Deputy Minister of Trade Hai stated that the solution would help prevent losses for farmers and secure the pork supply in the coming period, particularly before the next Lunar New Year, or Tet, holiday.
He suggested the Government should issue a policy that supports food processing firms, especially with the purchase of pigs and stockpiling of frozen pork.
Commercial banks are expected to offer loan packages with preferential interest rates.
Data from the Domestic Market Department, under the trade ministry, revealed that from late April to date, the prices of live pigs have seen significant reductions to VND28,000-VND32,000 per kilogram in northern Vietnam and VND32,000-VND38,000 per kilogram in the southern part of the country.
Meanwhile, pork prices hover between VND70,000 and VND90,000 per kilogram, down VND5,000 from a month earlier.