Pig prices are high, but it is difficult to make sure for the market

Pig prices are currently high, helping farmers make profits. However, diseases, high costs of seeds and feed are also barriers that make a part of farmers hesitant to restock.

Prices are high but supply is limited

According to the latest updated data, the price of live pigs on July 1 had no new fluctuations compared to previous days when in all three regions it was kept around the threshold of 63 000 – 69 000 VND/kg. Specifically, in the North, live pig prices remain stable around 67 000 – 69 000 VND/kg. The Central and Central Highlands markets remain stable from 63 000 – 66 000 VND/kg. In the South, the live pig market also has no new fluctuations, ranging from 65 000 – 67 000 VND/kg. Thus, the price of live pigs for slaughter is still high compared to the beginning of this year. Comparing the average pork price in the first quarter of the last 3 years shows that the average price in the first quarter of 2024 is about 5 000 VND/kg higher (up 9.7% compared to the first quarter of 2023).

Photo 1: Live pig price in the North on July 2, 2024. Photo: congthuong.vn

Normally, during the summer, pork prices are less volatile and low due to slower demand than other times of the year. However, this year, the price of live pigs continues to escalate as the consumer market enters the low season. Mr. Nguyen Kim Doan, Vice Chairman of Dong Nai Livestock Association, commented: This price increase is quite unusual compared to market rules, the cause is a sharp decrease in supply. “In the past, the price of live pigs sold was low, many times below the production cost. Meanwhile, animal feed prices are high and disease risks are high, so farmers reduce investment. This also causes the current supply of pork to decrease sharply compared to the same period every year,” Mr. Dan analyzed.

Typically in Dong Nai province, by the end of May 2024, the total herd of pigs in the province was just over 2 million, down 4.28% over the same period last year. The reason for the decrease in pig herd is said to be due to the low price of live pigs for a long time, causing many livestock farms to “hang up” or quit their job because of losses.

Explaining the phenomenon of rising pig prices in the summer, from a business perspective, Mr. Do Xuan Huy, Deputy General Director of C.P. Livestock Joint Stock Company, Vietnam, said: Because throughout 2023, live pig prices are too low, farmers are losing money, so they have reduced the number of pigs raised. This has led to a large decrease in livestock production, and supply is lacking compared to demand.

Meanwhile, Mr. Tong Xuan Chinh, Deputy Director of the Department of Livestock, said that last year, the average selling price of live pigs was only 48 000 – 52 000 VND/kg, with farmers losing 5 000 VND/kg. According to estimates, at farm scale, the cost of raising pigs is about 55 000 VND/kg or more, while for household farming it is about 60 000 VND/kg. Last year, for every pig sold, farmers had to suffer a loss of 5 – 10 million VND. As a result, many households raising thousands of pigs have suffered losses of billions of dong, so many households no longer have the capital to rebuild their herds.

Not only the price of live pigs but also the price of gilts and piglets also increased in the context of a very vibrant breeding market. Currently, the price of gilts on the market is more than 10 million VND/head, 2-3 million VND/head higher than during the off-peak period. Meanwhile, the price of piglets also increased to 2 – 2.2 million VND/head, an increase of about 1 million VND/head compared to many times before.

Faced with the fact that live pig prices remain high, some breeders still stick to their profession and accept risks to regenerate their herds. However, buying breeds is also difficult because private farms do not want to sell many, so they keep them to raise to compensate for losses during the epidemic. Not only that, some companies also set additional conditions when selling breeds to breeders such as having to buy bran from the business or scheduling to wait to buy breeds, etc.

Do not massively regroup

Although the price of live pigs is at a high level, not everyone benefits because many farming households no longer have pigs to sell. However, according to many experts, farmers need to be cautious in restocking, because the risk of disease is still very high, especially African swine fever, which is breaking out and spreading strongly in many localities. Furthermore, if the herd is massively restocked while the market is not well controlled, smuggled pigs flood in or frozen pigs are imported in large quantities at cheap prices, which will cause great disadvantages for farmers.

Photo 2: Breeders should be careful to restock their herds. Photo: ST

Mr. Nguyen Kim Doan, Vice Chairman of Dong Nai Livestock Association, analyzed that the selling price of live pigs of farmers is at a level of good profit but the consumer market is unfavorable. Because when prices increase, market consumption will slow down. While the pork supply is decreasing compared to previous times, this is only temporary and will soon stabilize in the near future. “Therefore, breeders should be careful in calculating and increasing their herds so as not to face the double risk of disease and the selling price is not always stable at the current high level,” Mr. Doan said. know more.

Regarding this issue, many experienced breeders also share the same opinion that we should consider carefully when investing in restocking and increasing herds in the current period. Because although the price of live pigs has increased, the costs of raising animals from breeds, feed and other expenses are quite high. In particular, if the herd is re-introduced at this time, it will take more than 3 months for farmers to have pigs for sale. It is difficult to ensure that the market will maintain the current good price.

The Import-Export Department (Ministry of Industry and Trade) predicts that in the coming time, pork prices may continue to stand at a high level because livestock raising households have not restocked their herds much, and businesses are also quite cautious when increasing the total herd of pigs because Fear of epidemics raging at the end of the year. Therefore, with the current situation, farmers should carefully calculate and increase their herds to avoid the double risk of disease and selling price.

Minh Khue

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