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Egg Imports a Blow for Vietnamese Farmers

28 August 2012, at 9:31am

VIET NAM - In what has been described as a blow to poultry producers, the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MOIT) has announced that it will allow imports of up to 500,000 eggs.

Despite an oversupply and decreasing egg price, the Ministry of Agriculture has said it has granted the quotas to import poultry eggs under the World Trade Organisation (WTO) commitments.

The products must be preserved and cooked through before being imported into Viet Nam.

Phan Thi Dieu Ha, Deputy Director of the Import-Export Department of MOIT, said since 2007, Viet Nam has to grant the quotas to import 30,000 dozens of eggs with the number increasing by five per cent per annum.

Ha has admitted that the domestic supply has been very profuse with the supply higher than demand. Amid the worries by the farmers about the sharp price decreases and the possible inventories, Deputy Minister of MOIT Nguyen Thanh Bien has reassured the public that since 2007, no enterprise has intended to import eggs, reports Vietnam.net.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) has reported the current difficulties of farmers to the Prime Minister, emphasising that farmers have been enduring the difficulties for a long time already and that they need to be rescued urgently.

Nguyen Thanh Son, Deputy Director of the Animal Husbandry Department of MARD, said that poultry egg prices have dropped by 47-48 per cent, thus making farmers incur the loss of 500 dong per egg.

Also according to Mr Son, in the first six months of 2012, about 4 billion poultry eggs were produced, a five per cent increase in comparison with the same period of the last year.

In the North, chicken eggs which were sold at 1700 dong in January 2012 have dropped to 900 dong. Meanwhile, merchandise duck eggs have seen the price drop from 2400 dong to 1500 dong.

The prices are even lower in the South. “A lot of households have decided to give up farming,” Mr Son has warned.

The warning has raised big worries about the possible shortage of foodstuff for domestic consumption.

Meanwhile, Nguyen Duc Trong, Deputy Head of the Husbandry Department of MARD, has predicted that the animal feed prices would increase further towards the end of the year, thus would making the situation worse.

Dr Nguyen Dang Vang, Chair of the Vietnam Livestock Association, has informed that the number of farmed animals has dropped dramatically by 60 percent somewhere, which is really a big concern, because it may threaten the food security.

TMr rong has emphasised that the announcement by MOIT about the import quota allocation would make the egg prices decrease further.

A big worry has been raised that with the permission to import cooked-through eggs, enterprises would import processed eggs in masses from China, which they would use to make moon cakes and other kinds of ready-made foodstuff products.