February 28, 2020 18:54

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Coronavirus preventing enterprises from pork imports

08:55 | 15/02/2020

VCN - In addition to the influence of African swine fever (ASF) on the pork supply in many countries, the infections caused by the novel coronavirus (nCoV) also are greatly affecting commercial activities, including enterprises travelling abroad to find suppliers and make deals for pork imports.

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The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) has sent a report to Deputy Prime Minister VuongDinh Hue on the prevention and fight against ASF and solutions to ensure pork supply.

Specifically, in terms of pork imports, the MARD stated that, in 2019, there were 600 Vietnamese enterprises importing pork,cattle and poultry meats. Of which,150 enterprises imported pork and pork products (an increase of 50 enterprises from 2018). Total import volume of meats of all kinds in 2019 rose17% and pork increased 63% compared to 2018.

According to reports from animal quarantine agencies at border gates under the Department of Animal Health, enterprises imported more than 4,500 tonnes of pork in January 2020. Imported pork mainly came from Germany, Poland, Brazil and the US.

Since December 2019, the volume of imported pork to make up for the shortage of pork due to the ASF and stabilize the pork price in the country was 17,421 tonnes.

Currently, Vietnam does not regulate the import quota on pork in particular as well as other animal products permitted for imports.

The MARD organized business dialogues to discuss solutions to promote imports; directed animal quarantine agencies to create favorable conditions to and help enterprises in the quarantine of imported pork.

The Ministry of Industry and Trade also directed Vietnam Trade Offices in other countries and territories to work and exchange with reputable enterprises and associations of pork and meat products in those countries and territories to provide information and connect with Vietnam’s importing enterprises.

However, according to reports frompork importing enterprises, there are some difficulties caused by ASF in many countries, affecting the pork supply to markets around the world.

Normally, exporters make production based on plans and contracts signed three to five months earlier. As this was the Christmas and New Year holiday in exporting countries, slaughter house and exporting enterprises were closed.

Particularly, because China suffered a big loss from ASF, it has great demand for pork.The pork price in this country is now very high, so Chinese enterprises are willing to import pork with higher price (20 – 30 %) compared to Vietnamese enterprises and they often import pork in large volume. In addition, exporting countries also signed contracts for sale of pork with Chinese enterprises from the beginning of 2019.

Besides high import price, the pork volume is low,and the search for new suppliers with reasonable price is difficult.

Moreover, the nCoV epidemic has greatly affect commercial activities, including travel of Vietnamese enterprises to look for supplies and negotiate pork imports.

Particularly for the imports of pork from the US market, the MARD pointed out a series of outstanding difficulties, including: transportation time and costs of products from the US to Vietnam is longer and higher; import tax on pork from the US is still higher than from countries which have signed FTAs with Vietnam such as Australia, Japan, Russiaand Mexico; and enterprises need more capital to import because to import 200 - 300 tonnesper month, enterprise have to deposit several tens of billions of dong for each transaction.

The MARDwill propose the Ministry of Industry and Trade and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to direct theirstanding agencies to provide maximum support for enterprises in searching for pork suppliers with reasonable prices in the USand other countries.

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The Ministry of Finance should consider and soon adopt a policy to reduce pork import tax from the United States, at the same time direct the General Department of Customs to facilitate the customs clearance of imported pork.

According to thelatest report from MARD, from the beginning of February 2019 to January 31, 2020, the ASF occurred in 8,570 communes in 667 districts of 63 provinces and cities with a total destroyed pigs of 5,982,679, equal to a total weight of 341,957 tonnes.

From the repopulation in localities, the MARD forecasts that it is likely to ensure the pork supply for 2020 of over 4 million tonnes (in the condition of good control of epidemics, especially the ASF).

Specifically, in February 2020, the amount of pork is expected to be marketed at about 330,000 tonnes; in March 2020 about 350,000 tonnes; in April 2020, about 360,000 tonnes; in May 2020, about 360,000 tonnes; in June 2020 about 365,000 tonnes; in the third quarter of 2020 about 1,098 million tonnes; in the fourth quarter of 2020, about 1,145 million tonnes.

By Thanh Nguyen/ Huyen Trang