Severe shortage of pork for Tet inevitable: Trade ministry

The Ministry of Industry and Trade has forecast a shortage of some 200,000 tons of pork for the rest of the year due to the pork undersupply caused by the rampant spread of African swine fever (ASF), the local media reported.

Speaking at a recent meeting chaired by Deputy Prime Minister Vuong Dinh Hue, the ministry projected that the country could lack 70,000 tons of pork for consumption each month leading up to the 2020 Lunar New Year holiday in late January.

However, the Dong Nai Livestock Association said that the shortage of pork may exceed the forecast figure as pig farming households have yet to revive their pig herds, while others who have expanded their herds have suffered new instances of ASF, leading their supply to drop.

Many major pig farming facilities have seen their pigs getting infected with ASF, piling pressure on the pork supply in the local market.

The prices of pork products have increased since June, especially in late October with a rise of 25%-30% against September, according to the ministry’s report.

ASF has created an imbalance between the pork supply and demand in some localities, causing pork prices to surge, the ministry said.

The country saw a 20% decline in the number of live pigs in October, compared with the year-on-year figure, driving up pork prices on the local market, according to the General Statistics Office.

The ministry pointed out that it has stepped up efforts to stabilize pork prices on the local market, including tightening control over the crossborder trade of pigs, evaluating the reproductive performance of pig herds and considering the import of safe pork.

The ministry proposed tightening control over the market to prevent pork prices from continuing to soar at the end of the year and limiting the shipments of pork to neighboring countries to ensure the pork supply to the country.

The ministry asked its subordinate departments to encourage the local people to consume other meats as an alternative to pork and to use frozen instead of fresh pork to ease pressure on the pork supply.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, on assignment to review pork exporters into Vietnam and inspect pork imports, said that 24 countries, including Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Germany, Japan, South Korea and Italy, have been allowed to ship pork into Vietnam through formal channels, VnEconomy news site reported.

saigontimes

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