USMEF goes to Vietnam
US Pork Asia Team, part of the USMEF Asia, is getting more interested in the Vietnamese market. Due to the ASF outbreaks present in Poland, Vietnam has diversified its pork suppliers lately and that situation could open a door in this market to the US producers.
The US Pork Asia Team, which included members of the National Pork Board’s (NPB) International Marketing Committee and other US pork industry leaders, was given an up-close look at USMEF’s work to increase demand for U.S. pork in Singapore and Vietnam.
Led by USMEF Senior Vice President for the Asia-Pacific Joel Haggard and Sabrina Yin, USMEF director in the ASEAN, the team visited processing plants and supermarkets and met face-to-face with key importers and traders to build relationships in the region. There was also an emphasis on learning about lifestyle trends and getting a better understanding of consumers’ culinary preferences.
The mission’s overall goal was simple: learn the intricacies of these markets and identify ways to export more pork into them. “This trip with USMEF was a great opportunity to look at existing and emerging markets. We talked about the attributes of U.S. pork that are valuable in what has become a high-end market like Singapore, and we sought to find out what cuts they were looking for and how we can advance and increase sales in that market. We then transitioned into Vietnam, which is emerging and has a lot of potential as a growth market.”, explained Randy Spronk, a hog producer from Minnesota who is a member of NPB’s International Marketing Committee and chairs the USMEF Pork and Allied Industries Committee.
A U.S. pork trade seminar allowed the team to meet with Vietnamese importers and exchange information about Vietnam’s wants and needs. More than 40 pork buyers from the region attended a briefing lunch during which USMEF Trade Analyst Jessica Spreitzer gave attendees an update on US pork supply and current trends in the international marketplace. Meetings with government and industry association officials were also arranged by USMEF, allowing the US pork team to learn about trade policy and market access issues in Vietnam.
“Vietnam’s pork self-sufficiency remains high, but with prices increasing for domestic pork and bigger cities now having an infrastructure in place to handle more imports, there is potential,” said Haggard. “During this mission, we fielded several questions about pricing for U.S. pork muscle cuts.”
Value-wise, the US exported more than $12 million of pork and pork variety meat to Vietnam in 2017, second only to the Philippines in Southeast Asia. So far in 2018, US pork exports have been brisk. Haggard said shipments of US pork have tripled since July, as Vietnamese importers and distributors prepare for the typically pork consumption-heavy autumn season.
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