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Imported meat unmarketable   2008-10-01 - KT&DT

Sales of imported meat have been slowing down after dominating the domestic market for a long time as domestic consumers are now purchasing domestically-raised fresh meat.


Hundreds of containers stuck at ports


Domestic consumers now prefer domestically sourced products

Cheap imported meat once dominated domestic traditional markets, supermarts and trade centres. Imported meat became such a big threat that experts warned that the imports might kill the domestic animal husbandry industry.


However, consumption of imported meat has decreased considerably, while imports from Australia, the US and Brazil are being left unsold. At Cat Lai port, 180 containers of meat imported by 14 companies are uncleared, while foreign suppliers are seeking other importers.


Analysts have attributed the consumption decrease to the cheaper domestically-sourced meat, which has prompted people to buy domestic products as they always prefer fresh meat. Currently, the price of chicken farmed industrially is hovering around VND22-25,000/kg, while the price of imported chicken is around VND30,000/kg.


Pork prices have also been decreasing continuously. Vissan said that on September 19 and 28, the company reduced the sale prices of fresh pork by VND1,000/kg on each occasion.


The oversupply of imported meat has also been explained by the fact that a lot of companies, wrongly forecasting that food prices would rise further, have been trying to import meat in big quantities.


Domestic products cheaper, farmers incurring losses


Why has domestically-sourced meat become cheaper? Because farms have to cut sale prices in order to boost sales and clear big stocks. The production cost of every kilogramme of chicken is VND24-25,000/kg, but companies are selling at VND21-22,000/kg.


The lower sale prices prove to be good news for companies, as this helps boost sales, but not for farmers, who cannot get as much profit from farming.


Discussing the way out for farmers, Pham Van Minh, Director of Phu An Sinh Company Ltd, said that the best way is to give technical advice and provide capital and workshop premises to help farmers access modern techniques and increase productivity, thus reducing production costs.

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