Pham Quang Dieu of Vietnam Market Analysis & Forecast Joint Stock Company (Agromonitor) told the conference that corn imports have soared this year compared to previous years.
Data of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) indicated Vietnam had imported 5.72 million tons of corn worth US$1.26 billion in the past ten months, surging nearly 56% in volume and 33% in value year-on-year.
Brazil and Argentina were the two main corn suppliers of Vietnam in the period, accounting for 53% and 42% respectively of Vietnam’s total corn imports. Particularly, corn purchases from Argentina increased 10-fold in volume and nine-fold in value versus the same period last year.
The Vietnam Feed Association said Vietnam has imported a large volume of corn to produce animal feed in the past few years. Domestic enterprises imported more corn for processing and future use as corn prices have decreased significantly on global markets.
According to agweek.com, a website providing information about agricultural markets, Indonesia has been the world’s biggest corn importer and the Southeast Asian country imported 3.5 million tons of corn in 2013-2014 to meet rising domestic demand. However, The Jakarta Post reported that Indonesia imposed a ban on corn imports in August this year as a measure to encourage local farmers to increase output of this agricultural product.
Indonesia needs 8.5 million tons of corn for production of animal feed this year. The country has inked a contract with Brazil to buy 500,000 tons of corn before the ban came into force.
The Department of Livestock under Vietnam’s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development said import of corn and other ingredients for animal feed production has climbed in recent years. Vietnam needs over 27 million tons of feed for livestock and aquaculture sectors a year, with livestock farms alone consuming 17-18 million tons.
The Vietnam Feed Association projected demand for animal feed would rise in the coming years and that the livestock sector would need one million more tons.
More enterprises are expected to get involved in animal feed production projects, so Vietnam has to import more material like corn and soybean to supply feed producers.