Update: 20:01 | 10/01/2023
Pig farmers in southern Vietnam are potentially facing huge losses after pork prices plummeted by 20% in the last two months.
Du’s family in Tien Giang Province had been hoping to sell their 120 pigs at high prices before the Lunar New Year on January 23, normally a period when demand rises sharply.
A pig farm in Gia Lai Province.
But this year, if they sell now, they could suffer losses of VND120 million ($5,117).
"Keeping them for longer means more expenses, and there is no certainty prices will increase," Du said.
Lieu, whose farm three kilometers away has 500 pigs, said traders are only paying her VND50,000 per kilogram, down 20% from two months ago, though the cost of raising the animals has increased by 10-15% from last year.
If she were to sell all of them now she would lose VND450 million, she said.
"Apart from selling large quantities to traders, I have been delivering pork to restaurants and markets to reduce the loss."
She might have to scale down next year, she added.
Industry insiders said an increase in supply has caused prices to fall.
Nguyen Kim Doan, deputy chairman of the Dong Nai Livestock Association, said pig supply now is up 11% from last year to 31.5 million.
Le Xuan Huy, deputy CEO of the country’s largest pig farming company, C.P. Vietnam, said many new companies have entered the market recently and increased supply.
Companies are cutting expenses and making do with small profits, he added.
Other industry insiders said farmers are fearful of some diseases that are spreading now and killing pigs, and so are selling their animals before they mature, pushing up supply.
An, a farmer in Dong Nai Province, said: "It costs VND60,000 to raise a kilogram pig but I can sell it for only VND50,000."
He feared his family would lose VND200 million this season.
An, who is also a pig trader, said demand is lower than in previous years and he might take an early Lunar New Year holiday.