Animal husbandry association requests anti-dumping investigation of US chicken

VietNamNet Bridge – The Southeast Region Livestock Association has asked the Prime Minister, the Ministry of Industry and Trade and the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development to conduct anti-dumping investigation against imported US chicken thighs.

Local livestock association requests anti-dumping investigation of US chicken

The Association said that it had sent its staff to America to collect data on the prices of chicken and chicken products (legs, wings, breast ...) in the US market.

The average price for whole chickens at US supermarkets is VND200,000 ($9.5)/kg, but in Vietnam the price is only VND60,000-70,000 ($2.8-3.2)/chicken.

Similarly, in the US the price for a kilo of chicken thighs is VND60,000-70,000/kg ($2.8-3.2), but in Vietnam it is only VND20,000/kg ($0.9). The association said that the price difference is abnormal.

Chicken imports from the US are rising year on year and the price is getting cheaper, the association said. For example, the average price of US chicken thighs two years ago was at $1.2-1.5/kg but it was only $0.6-0.8/kg in the early months of 2015.

In addition, Vietnam did not import a large volume of pork in previous years, but now imported pork was at high level, pricing less than VND60,000/kg compared to VND100,000 for domestic products.

The livestock industry of other countries has more competitive advantages than Vietnam in terms of scale and breeding, not just in the cost of labor, technical skills, food and other expenses.

"The production cost of raising pigs in Vietnam is about VND36,000-VND38,000/kg and about VND26,000/kg of white chicken. If other countries have production cost 10% lower than Vietnam, the price for imported meat could not be half our prices,"  the association’s representative said.

The association’s vice chair - Mr. Le Van Quyet – questioned why chicken was transported from the US to Vietnam, and why, considering the freezing, storage cost, and import tax, the price in Vietnam is only 1/5 of that in America. While many importers explained that the prices of some products such as legs, wings, by-products of chicken in Vietnam are cheap because US consumers do not use these products, they are still sold in US supermarkets.

"Americans do not eat chicken thighs but why they sell chicken thighs?" Quyet said. The association supposed that the products have problem with quality, date of use or they were dumped to kill the livestock industry of Vietnam.

According to the Association, there are about 3,000 chicken farms in the southwestern region of Vietnam, with a total investment of VND6-8 trillion. Most farm owners have to borrow bank loans and incur bad debt because of consecutive losses.

With a monthly output of about 8 million chickens, the farmers suffer losses of VND80-VND90 billion. The loss has incurred for six consecutive months, and has reached up to VND500 billion.

Nguyen Minh Kha, who runs a large farm in Dong Nai province, said last year Vietnam imported around 80,000-90,000 of poultry meat, at the average price of VND27,000-VND28,000/kg. In the first half of 2015, more than 50,000 tons were imported, at the average price of VND17,000/kg.

Le Manh Cuong, another farm owner in Dong Nai, said that in 2013-2014, the prices of chicken was VND25,000-VND27,000/kg, up to VND37,000/kg at times.

But since 2015, the price has stayed at VND22,000-VND23,000/kg. Although farms have taken many measures to cut production costs by 15%, chicken farms still have to sell chicken VND4,000-VND5,000/kg below the production cost.

"The authorities should take measures to protect domestic producers; otherwise we cannot survive," Cuong said.

What are the problems?

Nguyen Thanh Phuong, from the Emives Livestock Co. said, each month Vietnam imported about 6,000 tons of chicken, which is equivalent to about 3 million chickens, accounting for over 30% of domestic production. At the current low import prices, the domestic livestock industry cannot survive, Phuong said.

Ms. Dieu Hoa, from Koyu & Unitek, also said that it was unusual that US imported chicken is sold for VND20,000/kg in Vietnam.

The wholesale price for US chicken is around VND17,000-VND18,000/kg, and according to Hoa, deducting the freezing cost of VND2000-VND3000/chicken, the price is only VND15,000/kg.

Deducting other costs like transport costs, import and export duties and preservation costs, from the US to Vietnam, the product costs just under VND10,000/kg.

"This price is cheaper than 1kg of chicken feed, so this kind of chicken certainly has problems," she said.

Some livestock enterprises said many US chicken exporters have very attractive promotion policies for Vietnamese importers: if they import 17 containers, they will receive one free container.

Nguyen Van Ngoc, Vice President of the Association, said some countries used below-quality chicken as fertilizer or animal feed. Was this kind of meat is exported to Vietnam?

He also said that poultry epidemics had occurred in some areas in the US. Is American chicken banned in Russia and Eastern Europe sent to Vietnam?

Many enterprises in the livestock sector share the opinion that the authorities do not have enough technical barriers to stop meat imports or control the quality imported meat.

$1 = VND21,000

My Nhu
Local livestock association requests anti-dumping investigation of US chicken