Chinese demand drives up local pig prices
The strong demand in China for pigs, due to its year-long struggle against African swine fever, has caused local pig prices to surge over the past week. However, the local market is also facing a pig undersupply.
Speaking to the Saigon Times, Huynh Van Chinh, from a pig farming household in Cai Lay District, Tien Giang Province, said that he had received a deposit from a pig trader, of VND4.1 million per quintal, last Saturday (October 5).
When the trader on October 7 arrived to pick up the pigs under the agreed price, pig prices on the local market soared to as much as VND5.1-VND5.2 million per quintal.
Thus, the farmer suffered a loss of some VND9 million for pigs weighing a total of nine quintals on the deal, he added.
Apart from the Mekong Delta localities, pig prices in the southeast provinces also rose significantly as traders are purchasing pigs at VND5.1-VND5.3 million per quintal, depending on the quality of the pigs.
Nguyen Tri Cong, chairman of the Dong Nai Livestock Association, told the paper that local pig prices have skyrocketed due to the undersupply, coupled with the heavy purchase activity of China.
Many farmers in Dong Nai did not have enough pigs for sale as they had sold thousands of pigs earlier out of fear that the swine disease would spread.
Dao Huu Thuan, a farmer in the province’s Thong Nhat District, said that live-pig prices have soared to VND56,000 per kilogram over the past two days. He currently has only 40 sows, with no marketable pigs left, and does not dare breed new pigs due to the spread of the disease.
According to Nguyen Kim Doan, vice chairman of the association, the swine disease hit the sow herd first, followed by the marketable hog herd. The large reduction in the number of sows has made it hard to breed new pigs.
Data from the provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Development showed that the pig herd in Dong Nai had reduced from 2.5 million pigs to 1.5 million a fortnight ago, and it will likely continue to drop in the coming days, he said.
The swine disease has decimated Chinese pig herds by as much as 40%, driving its pig prices to record high levels. As a result, the world’s most populous nation has had to ramp up meat imports, leading to wild fluctuations in pork prices in many countries, including Vietnam.
The Agro Processing and Market Development Authority, under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, forecast that local pork prices may remain on the upswing for the rest of the year, particularly during the Tet Holiday, amid high demand and the undersupply of pigs.