Vietnam to export pork to China, official says hinh anh 1An animal health ​worker vaccinates pigs in a farm in Tra Vinh province (Source: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) - During an official visit to China by Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) Tran Thanh Nam, the Chinese Ministry of Agriculture (MOA) expressed interest in opening official channels for Vietnamese pork to enter China’s market, said Nguyen Xuan Duong, Deputy Head of the Department of Livestock Production (DLP) under the MARD on May 26.

“The visit proved fruitful, and the Chinese ministry is leaning toward welcoming Vietnamese pork products into their domestic market with a set quota,” Duong said.

However, he also made it clear that food hygiene and product quality must be top concerns for Vietnamese pork farmers and processors. China requested strict control over these criteria, with particular focus on keeping the pigs free from contaminations such as foot and mouth disease.

Regarding official export protocols, China asked Vietnamese authorities, especially the MARD’s Department of Animal Health (DAH), to monitor and manage food hygiene so that the Chinese government can clear the previous 2012 ban on Vietnamese live pigs.

These procedures will be discussed later during upcoming negotiations before the two sides reach an official bilateral trade agreement.

Meanwhile, the MARD suggested Vietnam’s government agencies work on meeting China’s standards and produce certificates of assurance on hygiene and quality.

Chinese animal health agencies promised to do their best to help their Vietnamese counterparts in finishing these official regulations as soon as possible, starting with a Chinese delegation visiting Vietnam in the foreseeable future to gather information about Vietnam’s current approach to disease control. China also recommended that Vietnamese producers freeze their exported pork products to maximise food safety.

Despite China’s pork price dropping from 65,000 VND (2.9 USD) per kilogramme to 45,000 VND (2.01 USD), the current Vietnamese domestic pork price is still a bit lower.

This means Vietnamese producers and farmers will surely benefit from exporting their pork products to China. Even though Chinese importers are currently bringing in pork from other countries besides Vietnam, the Chinese demand a large supply of pork. On estimation, China can import roughly one million tonnes of pork from Vietnam annually, according to Duong.

As such, a reconstruction of the livestock industry is much needed to create a strong link between farms, processors and exporters. Furthermore, there should be a stronger and more practical implementation of technological solutions to lower product costs for a stronger competitive edge within the ASEAN region. -VNA