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Vietnam to export processed chicken to Japan for the first time PDF Print
Friday, 02 December 2016 12:32

VIETRADE - Japan is the leading broiler meat importer though the provisional figure for the annual total in 2016 was little changed from the quantity purchased back in 2015, and is at a similar level to that anticipated for the next decade. Particularly, 2016 Outlook Post projects Japan’s record high 2015 broiler meat consumption (2.245 million MT) to hold steady at around 2.44 million MT in 2016 (Global Agriculture Information Network).


According to The Poultry Site, Asia is not a major exporting region with total shipments currently amounting to around one million tons a year. There are only two significant exporters – Thailand and China. In 2015, roughly half of Japan's imports are prepared (cooked or semi-cooked) chicken mainly from Thailand and China (GAIN). However, Japanese importers also look to diversify their supply sources and shorten delivery times. Therefore, it is possible that Viet Nam will play more important roles in the future besides its current opportunities with ASEAN and the Middle East.


Indeed, in 2017, Vietnam will be able to export processed chicken for the first time, initially to Japan, after receiving the green light from the government and the Department of Animal Health as well as overseas investors. Vietnam's Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) has approved the surveillance plan for processing chicken for exports.  The first company to participate in this project is Koyu & Unitek Ltd, which is completing the construction of its poultry processing plant that complies with Japanese standards. “We appreciated MARD's timely issuance of the surveillance plan for processing chicken for exports,” said James Hieu Nhon Khuu, Koyu & Unitek Director General.


Under the deal, the Dong Nai-based poultry company will monthly export about 300 tons of chicken breasts to Japan, according to the Sai Gon Giai phong (Liberated Saigon) newspaper. The Dong Nai Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Branch said Koyu & Unitek’s Japan shipments are likely to help more local company to enter the choosy market of about 100 million people.

The majority of chicken products used for export is made-to-order products that are processed or prepared by heat (such as grilling, steaming, and boiling) and are usually puffed or seasoned (with salt, Japanese sauce, etc.) As Japanese buyers are known for their strict quality controls, industry sources said the move could be seen a seal of approval for Vietnamese chicken, stoking its potential to penetrate other Asian markets in 2018.


Vietnamese animal husbandry industry has supplied between 500,000 and 700,000 tonnes of meat and 8 billion eggs per year but only salted duck eggs have been exported to Hong Kong and Singapore and the remaining was consumed in the domestic market, the ministry said. Nguyễn Xuân Dương, deputy director of the Animal Husbandry Department, said that since 2015, with regard to the export of animal husbandry products, the industry had developed a plan to establish a safe region without diseases for poultry and cattle, for a certification of food safety from the veterinary department and meet regulations of the World Organization for Animal Health that would help boost the export of meat to other countries (VER). To reach the target, the ministry has issued a plan to supervise production chains to process export quality chicken.

By 2017, the local enterprises which want to export processed chicken must complete the procedures to send to the relevant offices of countries that have made a demand for Việt Nam’s poultry products, according to the ministry. It said that they should also submit the proposal to the ministry’s Animal Husbandry Department and other relevant offices. They must actively have market research, find trade partners, and ensure to fulfill the requirements on the production of chicken of importing countries.


Despite the fact that the volatile weather may inflate poultry mortality and feed costs resulting in the uncertain chicken outputs, chicken meat is cheap and its demand is relatively insensitive to the economic situation. Therefore, demand is expected to rise further. On average, the global poultry demand has grown 2-3% y-o-y in the last 5 years. MARD expects that after Japan, Việt Nam could export chicken to Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, Myanmar and South Korea from 2018.

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