Demand for beef up in Vietnam
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|Imported beef in AEON Mall, Long Bien. Vietnam paid US$410 million for imported beef in 2017 (Source: VNA)|
The ministry’s Livestock Department reported that Vietnam imported 262,321 live cattle and nearly 42,000 tonnes of meat (mainly beef with bone) worth a total of US$410 million.
Meanwhile, the nation imported more than 6,500 tonnes of pork worth a total of about US$11.07 million, and more than 81,000 tonnes of poultry, valued at more than US$75.7 million.
The department said imported meat was sold much cheaper than local produce. For example, United States and Australian beef cost from VND100,000-500,000 per kilo. Indian beef ranged from VND90,000-150,000 per kilo, while imported chicken prices ran from VND35,000-60,000 per kilo.
Deputy director of the department, Tong Xuan Chinh, said Vietnam had an excess of pork. Production reached 29.1 million tonnes in 2016, causing the pork price crisis of 2017. The nation needs only about 27 million pigs to meet domestic demand, leaving a small volume for export.
In term of poultry, Vietnam raised more than 385 million heads in 2017, a year-on-year increase of 6.6%. This amounted to more than 1 million tonnes of meat and more than 10 billion eggs. Domestic poultry output has met local demand and the gap between imports and exports is not large.
Chinh said Vietnam seriously lacked red meat, mainly beef. The demand increased every year. The reasons related to huge changes in food consumption. People nowadays prefer beef to pork and chicken.
Therefore, in 2017, domestic demand for beef had a year-on-year increase of 4-5% to about 260,000 tonnes.
However, the local development of cattle grew at only 1.6% and the total output of beef increased only 3.6%. Domestic beef still meets 80% of domestic demand.
From 2014 to now, Vietnam has had to spend more than US$300 million a year to import live cattle and beef.
With the uptrend in beef, Chinh said Vietnam must have a more suitable strategy to farm cattle.
In 2017, Vietnam exported nearly 40,720 tonnes of pork, earning US$163.87 million; 22,600 tonnes of fresh milk and dairy products, earning US$54.8 million; 37 million salted duck eggs (US$5.27 million), 86,600 tonnes of honey (US$144.46 million) and more than 278,200 tonnes of animal feed (US$106.48 million).
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