Vietnam and US pork producers signs trade deal worth $500 million
Smithfield and other North American producers of pork will have access to the Vietnamese market in the next three years. A memorandum of understanding called the "US-Vietnam Pork Consortium" was signed with Smithfield Foods and other North American protein producers during the virtual event Indo-Pacific Business Forum. According to the agreement, the Vietnam Trade Alliance will acquire up to $500 million in US pork over the next three years.
Pork accounts for three-quarters of total meat consumption in Vietnam, a country of 96 million people. Since February last year, Vienat is fighting multiple ASF outbreaks that wiped out almost 20% of the national swine inventory. The Southeast Asian country is currently rebuilding its herd, in May, officials from Hanoi announcing the purchase of 20,000 females of the animal from Thailand. However, the live pig imports have been disrupted by the recent floodings in the country, which caused heavy losses in life and property with about 700,000 animals died including 50,000 pigs in the provinces Ha Tinh, Quang Binh, Thua Thien Hue and Quang Tri.
According to summarised data from the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, as of the end of September, the total number of pigs nationwide is about 25.5 million, equivalent to 82% compared to before the African Swine Fever.
So far 43,150 pigs, the equivalent of 2,157 tonnes of meat, have been culled and destroyed in Vietnam in an attempt to stop the ASF virus from spreading. In the last three weeks, outbreaks have been confirmed in 199 villages, and small cities in the provinces of Lang Son, Cao Bang, and Bac Kan, as reported by the Vietnam News Agency, citing sources from Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.
Currently, the Southeast Asian country is relying on imports to cover the deficit of pork appeared in the domestic market. The Vietnam Trade Alliance will buy chilled and frozen pork from the US, as well as derived products for processing and distribution on the Vietnamese market, the statement said. Vietnam's imports of pork from the US advanced to $35 million in the first eight months of this year, up from $4 million in 2015.n"This export activity will help increase total US agricultural product exports to Vietnam and address the US-Vietnam trade imbalance, in addition to directly supporting US farmers, ranchers and processing companies," said the US embassy in Hanoi, quoted by Reuters.
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