Latent risks as Aussie meat beefs up VN market share
Việt Nam has
become one of the largest importers of Australian cattle. In 2016, Việt Nam
ranked fourth among 32 countries importing Australian cattle. - Photo
HÀ NỘI - As the demand for imported beef soars, Australian
exporters are strengthening their market share in Việt Nam, but the situation
is fraught with risk, experts say.
newspaper report says Việt Nam has become one of the largest importers of
Australian cattle. In 2016, Việt Nam ranked fourth among 32 countries
importing Australian cattle.
quoted Tống Xuân Chinh, deputy head of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural
Development’s Animal Husbandry Department, as saying Việt Nam began importing
Australian cattle in 2010.
Việt Nam had just four enterprises importing Australian cows but by 2015, the
number had risen to several dozen with a total of 360,000 heads of cattle
businesses are now rushing to import Australian cows and fattening them for
sale to slaughterhouses. As a result, inventories of live cattle have swelled
inventory of Australian live cattle in 2015 was estimated at 100,000 heads
due to oversupply, Chinh told Đầu tư, adding that in 2016, imports of cattle
from Australia to Việt Nam slowed dramatically as feedlot operators moved to
lower their inventories.
Australian cattle exporters were not aware of the attractive Vietnamese
market. Their main partner at the time was Indonesia, importing nearly 1
million cows from Australia per year, said Lương Minh
Tùng, Chairman of Yên Phú Beef and Dairy Cattle
Breeding JSC. in Ninh Bình Province.
In 2011, the
Australian government issued a ban on cow exports to Indonesia after reports
surfaced about inhumane slaughter in some of its abattoirs, Tùng said,
adding that Australia also lost their strategic partner after the decision.
This was the
context in which stressed Australian businesses, urgently looking for new
partners, found Vietnamese businesses, Tùng said.
of Australian cattle for fattening had been expected to open up a new
direction for the fed-cattle industry. However, Tùng said, there were always
latent risks in imports.
there were too many businesses involved in importing Australian cattle, which
could lead to supply exceeding demand.
importing culled beef of large weights, Vietnamese firms preferred to import
calves in order to fatten and sell to slaughterhouses, which offers greater
profits, Tùng said.
Việt Nam didn’t have favorable conditions like Australia to breed cows, local
importers have to invest a lot in infrastructure to support the influx of
Australian cattle, meeting strict importing-related requirements.
Hoàng Dũng, Director of the Hai Phong Investment and Animal Poultry Products
Import Export JSC., or Animex Haiphong, Australia requires all
slaughterhouses in importing countries to have modern equipment and comply with
ECAS (exporter supply chain assurance system) needs.
whose abattoirs are not in line with ECAS will be banned from purchasing
could cause huge losses to many Vietnamese slaughterhouses, Dũng said, adding
that although there were thousands of standard slaughterhouses, only 100
units or so had been approved by the Australian side.
said many small and medium-scale cattle breeders were facing severe
competition from large rivals, like the Hoàng Anh Gia Lai Agriculture
International JSC (HNG), which has poured trillions of đồng into importing
Australian cattle to Việt Nam for fattening and selling.
businesses usually import several thousand heads of cattle each time and will
purchase more only after they have already sold them out. Meanwhile, HNG buys
30,000 to 40,000 heads of cattle each time," Dũng said.
The Đầu tư
report said that at the end of 2016, the Viet Eco Farm JSC. launched a beef
store chain called “Healthy beef” in Cần Thơ City, providing fresh, high
quality Australian beef products in large quantities.
In the short
term, the company aims to supply beef for the Mekong Delta region, but plans
to expand its market in other parts of the country, establishing new
Farm also imports Australian calves to fatten and sells mature cows to
abattoirs at thousands of heads per time. The company has invested a lot in
breeding facilities and modern slaughter lines, and set up 450ha of pasture
land to raise cattle.
the Việt Nam Livestock Association, Nguyễn Đăng Quang, said the amount of
imported Australian cattle was increasing rapidly, being sold at reasonable
prices, enjoying preferential tariffs and becoming more popular with
beef was "dominating” the Vietnamese market, Quang said, adding that the
more fierce the rivalry between Vietnamese firms, the more benefits Australia
exporters could enjoy.
it was imperative the country imposes technical barriers on Australian beef
so as to protect the domestic cattle industry. - VNS