Russian pork producers get access to Vietnamese market

Russian pork producers have gained access to the Vietnamese market, the Interfax news agency reported on Friday citing Russia’s state agriculture watchdog.

Rosselkhoznadzor said it had agreed to the terms of pork and byproduct supplies with Vietnamese authorities, allowing Vietnamese-approved Russian companies to begin exports.

The watchdog did not say which Russian companies were eligible to supply their produce to Vietnam.

Russia’s biggest producers of pork include Cherkizovo, Rusagro, and privately held group Miratorg.

Since the African swine fever was first detected in February, it has spread to all 63 provinces in Vietnam, forcing the cull of more than five million pigs, or nearly 20 percent of the total hog herd, and driving up prices nearly 70 percent.

Deputy Prime Minister Vuong Dinh Hue has warned that the nation will lack about 200,000 metric tons of pork by January 2020, when demand for pork in the Southeast Asian nation is expected to spike as families cook traditional pork dishes for the Lunar New Year holiday.

While not harmful to humans, African swine fever is deadly to pigs, with no available vaccine.

Vietnam’s annual poultry output rose 13.5 percent in the first nine months of this year, while beef production was up 4.2 percent and aquaculture production up 6.1 percent, government data shows.

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