The pandemic has left incomes down, leading to a tightening in spending, and the live hog price is unlikely to have a sudden increase in the run up to the Lunar New Year.
If the African swine fever and the COVID-19 are better controlled, restaurants, schools and tourist areas reopen, pork demand will recover, which will create opportunities for domestic hog prices to climb in 2022.
The price is forecast to increase slightly in the first quarter of 2022.
According to Hoang Thi Van, an expert from the Institute of Economics and Finance, the price of live hogs may increase again, but it will be difficult to exceed the level of VND65,000 per kilo as there is no factor pushing purchasing power up.
In addition, with the production of an African swine fever vaccine expected to be successful and used on a large scale, the live pig market in Vietnam will be stable.
Live hog prices have been on a downward trend nationwide from February 2021.
The average live hog price in December 2021 was VND49,500 per kilo in the North, down 39.6 per cent compared to January 2021.
The average price of live pigs in the Northern region last year reached VND62,200 per kilo, down 24.4 per cent on year.
In the southern region, the average live hog price in December 2021 was VND49,000 per kilo, down 38 per cent compared to January 2021. The average price for the whole year was VND61,900, down 23.7 per cent compared to 2020.
With the current price of pigs, most livestock farms are suffering losses due to the high cost of raising livestock.
The price of animal feed has increased by more than 20 per cent and veterinary drugs have surged by 180 per cent.
The reason for the decline in pig prices is higher supply, according to the Department of Livestock Production.
Re-herding in the past two years has been successful so the total number of pigs nationwide has reached over 28 million, including 3 million sows.
Weak demand due to African swine fever and the pandemic has pulled the live hog prices down.
The General Statistics Office reported that the output of live hog for slaughter in 2021 was estimated at 4.2 million tonnes, up 3.6 per cent over the previous year.
Meanwhile, in the first 10 months of 2021, about 350,000 live pigs were imported from Thailand for slaughter, an increase of over 50 per cent over the same period in 2020.
Vietnam also imported 332,000 tonnes of pork last year, an increase of about three times year-on-year.
Accordingly the supply of pork for the Lunar New Year is abundant and the pork price is not expected to change drastically.