Vietnam and the Philippines are among several Southeast Asian nations dealing with the impact of African swine fever (ASF) on their domestic pork production. ASF was first confirmed in Vietnam in February 2019, leading to a significant reduction in its swine herd and a sharp increase in Vietnam's demand for imported pork. Vietnam has historically been largely self-sufficient in pork production, but in 2020 (through July) exports of U.S. pork to Vietnam nearly tripled year-over-year to 11,155 metric tons (mt), up 173%. Export value more than tripled to $24.2 million, up 212%. In July alone, pork muscle cut shipments to Vietnam reached a new monthly record of 2,443 mt, valued at $5.3 million, according to a release from U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF).
Sabrina Yin, who oversees Southeast Asian operations for the USMEF, says that despite COVID-19 restrictions limiting travel and face-to-face interactions with Vietnamese importers, USMEF is taking every opportunity to educate them about the safety, quality and versatility of U.S. pork.
The impact of ASF took longer to surface in the Philippines, where the disease was first confirmed in September 2019. U.S. exports to the Philippines got off to a slow start in 2020, but picked up significantly in June in July. For January through July, exports were steady with last year at 21,735 mt, while value increased 8% to $54.3 million. Yin notes that the Philippines is a well-established destination for U.S. pork, and buyers there recognize the U.S. industry as a reliable, consistent supplier.
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