The domestic livestock industry spent US$1.9 billion on purchasing finished animal feed for poultry and livestock last year, with $824 million being spent on soybeans and US$451 million on corn import for animal feed processing sector.
Imports from Argentina accounted for 38% of the total, the US with 17.5% and Brazil with 7% with the remainder coming from China.
Earlier, in the first six months of this year, the Department of Livestock Husbandry of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development said the total number of cattle continues to remain the same. The poultry population grew by only a few percentage points over the same period last year.
Most of the animal feed import is because of limited supplies domestically. Many small-scale animal feed producers had to give up production since they could not compete with foreign rivals. In the first five months of this year, productivity of domestic animal feed reached nearly 6.03 million tonnes, an increase of 5% over the same period last year.
In the first five months, imports of animal feed saw a growing trend over the same period last year. Total volume of imported raw materials reached more than 5.98 million tonnes, representing a growth of 17.3 per cent, worth US$2.31 billion.
According to Nguyen Dang Vang, chairman of the Vietnam Feed Association, animal feed in Vietnam was more expensive than in many other countries. Feed market in Vietnam heavily relied on foreign companies which accounted for more than 63% of supply. However, these enterprises mainly imported raw materials for local production from their parent companies in countries like Thailand, China, and Indonesia.
Experts have affirmed that Vietnam livestock sector is facing many challenges on account of market competition as a result of international integration.