High Prices Encourage Meat Imports

VIET NAM - There has been a significant rise in frozen meat imports, especially poultry meat but also pork and beef, as importers take advantage of higher domestic prices.
calendar icon 23 May 2011
clock icon 3 minute read

Frozen meat imports arriving at HCM City ports in recent months have increased by 20-30 per cent over the same period last year as importers take advantage of price hikes in the domestic market, reports an official source.

Nguyen Xuan Binh, director of the Animal Health Centre region 6, said 25,905 tonnes of frozen meat were imported in the first four months of the year, mostly poultry meat.

The increase in the price of pork and chicken in the domestic market offers excellent opportunities for importers to ship a large volume of meat for higher profits.

According to the HCM City Sub-Department of Animal Health, the volume of imported frozen meat that the sub-department controls has sometimes increased two- to three-fold compared to normal times.

In April, the department supervised nearly 10,000 tonnes of imported meat, including 786 tonnes of beef, 8,219 tonnes of poultry meat and 456 tonnes of pork, Nguoi Lao Dong newspaper reports.

After Tet (Lunar New Year) holiday, the price of pork and chicken on the domestic market fell strongly, outselling imports.

However, when pork and chicken prices surged strongly in the domestic market, the price of imported meat also increased, although the global price remained unchanged or only slightly increased, bringing huge profits for meat importers.

For instance, the global price of chicken wings is about US$2,300 per tonne currently, with the cost including tax and other expenses at 65,000 dong (VND) per kilo when it arrives in Viet Nam. However, a kilo of imported chicken wings is being sold for VND90,000.

Similarity, the cost of a kilo of imported pork is about VND60,000 including tax and other expenses, while its retail price in the domestic market is VND70,000 to VND80,000 per kilo.

Imported frozen meat is usually VND10,000 cheaper than that of local meat, according to the source.

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