Consumers Swap from Pork to Chicken

VIET NAM - Big price rises for pork are causing many people to purchase chicken, which has fallen in price.
calendar icon 25 July 2011
clock icon 3 minute read

With pork prices skyrocketing, housewives are being encouraged to replace the meat with chicken to economise, according to Vietnam Business News.

The Animal Husbandry Department says prices of live pigs have risen by 70 to 100 per cent within a year, and pigs currently cost 64,000 dong (VND) per kilogramme in the South and VND65,000 to VND70,000 in the North.

Nguyen Xuan Duong, deputy head of the department, says these are equal to prices in China and higher than in Thailand.

The price hike has not only hit peoples' pockets and affected the quality of meals of millions of families but also forced the consumer price index up in Ha Noi and HCM City.

The department blames high general inflation, animal diseases and Chinese purchases of large quantities of pork as the main causes of the rising pork prices.

Pork supply rose by 6.7 per cent in the first six months of 2011, compared with last year.

But analysts dismiss these explanations as being 'unpersuasive' since the department does not have accurate figures about how many pigs are being bred nationwide and where.

Pork prices may drop if supply goes up or demand falls. But it takes at least three and a half months to turn a 20-kg piglet into a 100-kg porker.

Therefore, to force down pork prices in the coming months, it is much easier to persuade pork consumers to turn to other meats, news agency, VnExpress, points out.

According to the Viet Nam Animal Feed Manufacturers' Association, pork accounts for 70 per cent, chicken for 20 per cent and other types of meat for 10 per cent of the total meat consumed by Vietnamese, compared with 40-45 per cent, 30-35 per cent, and 20-30 per cent in developed countries.

White (poultry) meat contains much more protein, lipid and vitamins than red meat like beef as well as pork.

Therefore, turning to chicken will help lower pork prices while also improving peoples' health.

In the past month, while pork prices have shot up, chicken prices dropped from VND41,000 to VND27,000 per kilogramme, reports Vietnam Business News.

The change in meat-consumption pattern will offer an opportunity for restructuring the country's animal husbandry industry towards sustainable development, said Pham Duc Binh, deputy chairman of the Viet Nam Animal Feed Manufacturers Association.

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