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Where is all the imported pork?

State management agencies affirmed that hundreds of thousand of tons of pork have been imported. However, consumers still cannot find imports at supermarkets and convenience stores in HCM City.

The pork price has decreased, but only very slightly. At Xom Chieu (district 4) and Thu Duc (Thu Duc district), Ben Thanh and Tan Dinh Markets (district 1), young ribs are sold at VND220,000-230,000 per kilogram, while trotters are VND170,000.



Though the price has decreased, pork stalls at markets remain deserted with very few buyers.

“The supply is profuse but I still cannot sell anything this morning,” Pham Tuyet Van, a seller complained.

“I have a certificate on the origin and quality of the meat. However, people still don’t buy pork these days because of high prices,” she said.

MM Mega Market said there is imported pork at the supermarket chain, but the amount is very small, just accounting for 3 percent. This means that 97 percent of pork available there is from domestic sources.

Tran Van Minh, a merchant at Tan Xuan Market, also said that the high price has cut pork sales. The meat supply has improved thanks to the live pigs imported from Thailand. In addition, frozen pork is akso available at some big markets.

According to the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MOIT), in the first 11 months of 2019, Vietnam imported VND111,000 tons of pork at the price of $1,117 per ton on average, or VND26,000 per kilogram.

If counting taxes and fees, the imported meat can be sold at VND33,000-35,000 per kilogram.

However, housewives complained that they cannot find cheap imports anywhere, including supermarkets and convenience stores.

Tien Phong reported that no imports were found at VinMart, VinMart+, Aeon and Big C on January 10. At Aeon, the quoted price was very high: young ribs were priced at VND290,000 per kilogram, while half fat half lean meat VND220,000. At VinMart and VinMart+, the prices were VND249,000 and VND226,000, respectively.

A representative of Big C said the pork distributed by the retail chain is fresh meat from domestic sources and frozen meat. The supermarket affirmed that it has enough pork to sell for Tet days and doesn’t need imports.

The director of a VinMart shop also said most of the meat available in the market is from domestic sources. The supermarket will consider importing meat if the domestic supply is short, but in the immediate time, it will prioritize to sell Vietnamese products.

Meanwhile, MM Mega Market said there is imported pork at the supermarket chain, but the amount is very small, just accounting for 3 percent. This means that 97 percent of pork available there is from domestic sources.

According to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD), Vietnam’s live pig output in 2019 was 3.29 million tons, a decrease of 14 percent compared with 2018. The country plans to import 100,000 tons more of pork from now to the end of Q1 2020. 

Kim Chi

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