The nation’s animal feed output is projected to increase 10 percent this year against 2013, buoyed by a recovery of cattle and poultry farming and strong growth in seafood exports, the Saigon Times Daily reported.

Le Ba Lich, Chairman of the Vietnam Feed Association, said demand for cattle and poultry feed is forecast to reach 14 million tonnes this year, 700,000 tonnes higher than last year while feed for shrimp and tra fish farming is also expected to fare better.

“Growing demand will lead to a year-on-year increase of 10 percent in animal feed output this year,” the Daily quoted Lich as saying.

Lich attributed the expanding animal feed output to the rebounding of the cattle and poultry sector as a result of animal diseases put under control and rising demand for these products. Fish farming is being widened given a strong rise in seafood exports.

Nguyen Tri Cong, Chairman of Dong Nai province’s Husbandry Association, said pork prices have bounced back and remained stable at 54,000-55,000 VND a kilo. Therefore, more farmers have raised pigs and increased their herds, resulting in higher demand for animal feed.

“Animal feed factories are increasing their production output to meet the demand,” Cong was cited as saying.

According to the General Statistics Office, pig and poultry breeding last month edged up 1-1.5 percent and 2 percent respectively compared to the same period last year.

Data of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development showed that seafood exports in the first eight months of this year jumped 25.3 percent year-on-year to 4.95 billion USD owing to higher demand from export markets and supply in Vietnam.

The area for tra fish farming in the Mekong Delta provinces of Dong Thap, Vinh Long and Tien Giang in the first eight months expanded 2.4 percent, 0.1 percent and 31.6 percent over the same period last year to 1,555, 425 and 158 hectares respectively. The area for shrimp cultivation leapt in the provinces of Ben Tre, Ten Giang, Kien Giang, Soc Trang, Bac Lieu and Ca Mau in the period.

The Vietnam Feed Association forecast animal feed output will continue to increase next year as enterprises are expanding and building new production facilities.

According to the Vietnam Feed Association, Vietnam turned out nearly 17 million tonnes of animal feed last year with foreign-invested firms accounting for 65-70 percent although they made up only 25 percent of 200 animal feed firms nationwide.

Vietnam imported nearly 2.25 billion USD worth of animal feed and relevant production materials in January-August, up 8.6 percent year-on-year.-VNA