Agriculture ministry convenes urgent meeting amid pork price upsurge
The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development held an urgent meeting on November 19 to discuss ways to stabilize prices for live pigs and pork, local media reported.
At the meeting, Minister Nguyen Xuan Cuong proposed pig farming households and firms expand their pig herds based on biological safety standards to ensure an adequate pork supply. In addition, Cuong suggested ramping up the production of seafood, eggs, milk and poultry as replacements for pork.
The Department of Livestock Production was asked to direct farmers to start raising new pig herds for longer periods to increase the weight of the pigs.
Apart from this, Cuong also told the competent agencies to tighten control over the import and export of live pigs and pork to ensure the stability of the local market, prevent diseases and guarantee profits for pig farmers.
The ministry will support small pig farming households in raising new pig herds by applying biological safety measures, Cuong said, adding that expanding and raising new pig herds should not be done recklessly.
Statistics from the Department of Livestock Production reported at the meeting indicated that in February, when African swine fever (ASF) outbreaks started hitting some provinces in the country, live pigs cost VND46,150 and VND51,750 per kilogram in the northern and southern regions, respectively. Meanwhile, on the Chinese market, live pigs sold for VND41,230 per kilogram.
The prices of live pigs were recorded at VND66,500 per kilogram in northern Vietnam and VND63,500 in the southern region in early November, whereas the prices of pigs in China reached some VND137,240 per kilogram.
Based on the department’s estimation, domestic pig prices were lower than in other countries, especially China, in the January-October period amid ASF’s rampant spread.
The department pointed out that the remaining sources of pork and live pigs are a few firms and major farms. As such, the difficult access to pork sources has forced slaughtering and processing facilities to buy pigs at higher prices.
Addressing the meeting, Nguyen Phuoc Trung, director of the HCMC Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, said that the price of live pigs has averaged VND70,000 per kilogram, while pork belly has sold for up to VND200,000 per kilogram.
Over the past few years, the city consumed 9,500-10,000 live pigs per day, but the figure has fallen 15% due to the pork undersupply, Trung reported.
The demand for pork is expected to increase in the coming months, mainly before and during the 2020 Lunar New Year, Minister Cuong said, adding that if solutions are not adopted, the pork market would run into trouble, negatively affecting farming facilities and consumers.