African swine fever (ASF) has caused serious damage to Vietnam, which ranks fifth in the world in pork production with annual output of 2.8 million tons.

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The Department of Animal Health under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development reported that, as of September 10, ASF had been found in 7,459 communes in 639 districts in 63 cities and provinces. It is estimated that 5 million pigs have been culled, or 7 percent of total meat output of the country.

After a period of interruption, the ASF epidemic has broken out again in some localities.

According to the General Statistics Office (GSO), by July 1, the total number of pigs had dropped by 18.5 percent to 22.2 million, including 3.2 million sows, a decrease of 20 percent.

In the first seven months of 2019, Vietnam imported 11,700 tons of pork with the total import turnover of $22.1 million, or 3.7 times higher in quantity and 4.3 times in value in comparison with the same period last year.

Because of the epidemic, Vietnam has had to import pork in large quantity since the beginning of the year.

 

In the first seven months of 2019, Vietnam imported 11,700 tons of pork with the total import turnover of $22.1 million, or 3.7 times higher in quantity and 4.3 times in value in comparison with the same period last year.


After a period of suffering from ASF, which forced pork prices down dramatically and caused farmers to incur big losses, the prices have bounced back recently, now hovering around VND46,000-50,000 per kilogram. The price increase is attributed to the short supply.

Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Phung Duc Tien admitted that there are reasons to predict that the pork price would rise sharply in the time to come because the supply in Vietnam and neighboring countries, especially in China, has decreased dramatically because of the epidemic.

However, the pork price still has been hovering around VND48,000-50,000 per kilogram over the last month, which shows that the supply has not been exhausted.

An analyst said that with the amount of pigs left, about 93 percent, and the plan to accelerate the raising of cattle, aquatic products, poultry and biosafety pigs, the meat supply shortage will not be too serious.

According the Deputy Minister, agencies still cannot say for sure if Vietnam will lack pork for the 2020 Tet. But he is sure that the pork price will be decreasing, possibly to VND55,000-60,000 per kilogram, in the last months of the year.

When ASF broke out, the government and MARD gave instructions to restructure the husbandry sector. Cattle husbandry, after eight months, had a growth rate of 3 percent in output, and poultry farming 10 percent.

Mai Lan 

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