Genesus Global Market Report Southeast Asia May 2024

Paul Anderson, Genesus Southeast Asia


Oversupply suppresses live pig price in Thailand

Pig production in Thailand jumped 28% year-on-year to 5.8 million heads in Q1/2024, while the price of live pigs dropped 23% to THB 68/kg (USD 1.8), according to The Thai Swine Raisers Association, the country’s representative of pig producers.

The oversupply mainly comes from large-scale producers who expanded their herds after outbreaks of ASF in Thailand three years ago. However, the fall of pork and pigs took place since early last year due to an advent of smuggled frozen pork, estimated around 20,000 containers.

Although the government is taking legal action against people related to the smuggling, only a handful of smuggled pork was found and confiscated.

The association attempted to raise the price of live pigs since early May and called for retailers to maintain the price of portioned pork sold in their stores in line with the live pig price, but to no avail.

This leaves the producers, large or small, keep on losing as the cost of live pig production remains higher at THB 84/kg (USD 2.5)


Meat in Vietnam

In 2023, Vietnam imported a total of US$1.5 billion (783.8 thousand tonnes) of fresh and processed meat products from the world (27th largest market). Top suppliers of meat to Vietnam over the year, were China at a market share of 15.9%, the United States (8.3%), and Japan (7.7%).

Canada was Vietnam’s 7th largest supplier for fresh and processed meat products in 2023, accounting for an import value of US$63.9 million and increasing by a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 88.3% (2019-2023). Top meat products exported to Vietnam consisted of frozen edible bovine offal (excl. tongues and livers) at a value of US$29.6 million (7,253.5 tonnes), frozen meat of bovine, boneless at US$23.2 million (4,144.8 tonnes), and frozen meat of swine, bone-in at US$7.0 million (3,693.6 tonnes) in 2023.

Internationally, Euromonitor reports that retail sales of processed meat in the Asia Pacific (APAC) region was the third largest global market, consuming a total of US$35.2 billion in 2023. However, the APAC region is better known to consume a much higher level of fresh meat over processed meat. Vietnam was the 4th largest consumer of fresh & processed meat products in the region after China, Japan, and India at a sales value of US$13.9 billion in 2023 – consisting of 98.5% of fresh meat and 1.5% of processed meat sales.

In 2023, leading processed meat food companies (brands) in Vietnam included Saigon Trading Group – SATRA (Vissan) at almost half of the market share by 46.1%, the Charoen Pokphand Group (CP) at 13.3%, and Halong Canned Food JSC (Ha Long) at 3.4%. There are no Private label companies reporting in Vietnam.

Vietnamese store-based grocery retailers distributed most of the processed meat, seafood and alternatives to meat market at US$532.2 million (99.6%) versus non-store retailing or e-commerce sales of US$2.3 million (0.4%) in 2023. Small local grocers registered the largest sales, followed by supermarkets and hypermarkets. Grocery store-based convenience stores and supermarkets in Vietnam experienced the highest growths (2018 to 2023), while e-commerce online sales has increased dramatically by a CAGR of 35.7%.


Heat Stress, A Major Problem in the Philippines Swine Industry

Heat stress has emerged as a significant issue in the Philippine swine industry, particularly due to the effects of El Niño, which has hampered pig growth and impacted the hog sector’s performance, according to the National Federation of Hog Farmers Inc. (NatFed), Genesus breeders survive better in the hot climates aided by their large appetite, more robust, faster growing with less mortality.

Alfred Ng, NatFed’s vice-chairman, noted during the Livestock and Aquaculture Philippines 2024 event in Pasay City that this unprecedented heat has notably affected the hog sector. “We’ve never experienced such heat before, and it has significantly impacted our hog production,” Ng stated.

Ng explained that pigs, which typically reach a live weight of 120 to 150 kilos (265 lbs. to 330 lbs.), are now only reaching 90 to 100 kilos (200 lbs. to 220 lbs.), if they reach that weight at all. Furthermore, due to high feed costs and the pigs’ refusal to eat and grow, farmers are forced to sell them before they reach the ideal weight. Genesus breeders and their progeny never refuse to eat due to heat stress, maximise your growth and kilo’s sold with Genesus Genetics.

As a result, hog farmers are trying to restock their farms with the goal of increasing annual output by 10 to 15 percent

According to data from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), livestock production saw a 1.8 percent decrease in seasonally adjusted value, with hogs being the largest contributor to this decline in the first quarter of 2024.

Ng also expressed concerns about the rising pork imports, which he sees as another threat to the domestic hog industry. Data from the National Meat Inspection Service revealed that, as of May 13, the bulk of the country’s pork inventory was imported, totalling 49,899 metric tons (MT), while locally produced pork dropped to 758 MT from 3,145 MT the previous year, largely due to the ongoing African swine fever (ASF) outbreak.

Overall, while significant progress has been made in certain areas, the ASF outbreak in the Philippines remains a major challenge for the swine industry, necessitating continued vigilance and comprehensive control measures.

The Philippines government is currently procuring ASF vaccines and wants to roll out the immunisation shots in June or July 2024, the Philippine News Agency reported.

The country has been grappling with ASF since 2019. To curb the disease, the Philippines government has come up with several collaborations, cash aid, integrated or complementary farming strategies and repopulation programmes.

The Integrated National Swine Production Initiatives for Recovery and Expansion (INSPIRE) has been the main program of the Department of Agriculture (DA), accelerating the repopulation and recovery of the pig industry through calibrated repopulation and intensified production, establishment of breeder multiplier farms, intensified biosecurity and enhanced surveillance and expansion and modernisation of semi-commercial and commercial farms through credit support.

Vaccines in Vietnam

Hope to effectively fight ASF in the Philippines came when Vietnam became the first country to develop vaccines against ASF successfully. The first 2 vaccines were the Navet-ASFVAC vaccine, produced by Navetco National Veterinary Joint Stock Company (Navetco), and Avac ASF LIVE produced by AVAC. This was followed by the Dacovac-ASF2 vaccine, produced by the Vietnamese Dabaco Group.

Vaccine export to the Philippines

One week after the approval of the domestic use of the world’s first commercial vaccines against ASF, Reuters reported that Vietnam will export 2 million vaccine doses against ASF to the Philippines. This expectation is soon to be realised as the rollout is expected by mid-year. Addressing farmers in the province of Occidental Mindoro on ASF vaccine progress, President Marcos said, “We will roll out soon, probably by June or July, we will be able to release the vaccines. We are just waiting for the production in Vietnam because they are the developer of the vaccines.”

Vaccination challenges

Reports highlight some challenges which need to be addressed for the effective use of vaccines against ASF. As the vaccines have been tested mainly in younger pigs, the vaccines’ efficacy on pigs of different ages needs to be established. Another challenge is how to manage an outbreak in different pig classes, and what the protocols would be for vaccine administration on both large-scale and small-scale farms following an outbreak. Above all, the Philippines pig industry needs an efficient, stable, and easy-to-use vaccine.

Helping farmers cope with El Niño

According to the Philippine News Agency, the Philippines government is engaging in the dispersal of pigs to help farmers cope with El Niño challenges. In the province of Iloilo, the provincial government has allocated PHP9 million for pig dispersal in response to El Niño, initially targeting 15 municipalities in areas unaffected by the African swine fever.

“We want to have a program that is El Niño-oriented. The assistance, instead of farm inputs, we will disperse animals that are not too dependent on the rain and the like,” Iloilo Governor Arthur Defensor Jr. said in a press conference.

The PHP9-million budget covers PHP6.93 million for the purchase of pigs and PHP2.07 million for feeds. Under the project, recipients will receive feeds and piglets for fattening. The Governor also emphasised that the scheme is one way of helping the swine industry increase its inventory amid the ASF challenge.

Reducing pork imports

In April 2024, Iloilo province held the 30th Hog Convention and Trade Exhibits co-organised by the Pork Federations of the Philippines Inc. (PFPI) and the National Federation of Hog Farmers Inc. (NFHFI). Speaking at the Convention, Agriculture Secretary Francisco Tiu Laurel Jr., reiterated that if the country could produce more pork, a dependence on pork importation would be reduced.

“The reduction of pork importation is part of DA’s larger goal in national food security. The commitment to excellence in pork production benefits livelihoods and contributes to our nation’s collective well-being and prosperity,” Laurel said.

The Agriculture Secretary also said the DA is set to launch (in 2024) the Cold Examination Facilities for Agriculture (CEFA) in eight selected areas across the country.

The CEFA aims “to prevent the smuggling of imported agricultural commodities and the entry of transboundary agricultural diseases, ensuring the safety and quality of locally produced pork,” he said.

The procurement of ASF vaccines is poised for success in bringing the pig industry back on its feet; in line, the Agriculture Secretary highlighted that the 2025 budget is going to strongly support the livestock industry at the expense of the commonly favoured staple crop, rice. (Source Pig Progress)