VIETNAM: FOOD PROCESSING
In the past 15 years Vietnam was grown from a net importer of food to a substantial exporter. It is the world's second most important exporter of rice, and the world's largest coffee exporter and producer of cashew nuts. Tea, peppers, nuts and spices have become important exports. Rice and coffee account for about half of agricultural export revenues. Soybeans, cashews, sugar cane, peanuts, bananas, poultry, fish and seafood are growing. Vietnam's agricultural exports are vulnerable to international price fluctuations because these exports are largely commodity based.
Vietnam's agricultural fishing and forestry industries together produce over US$3 billion of ...view middle of the document...
In turn, the processing sector is looking to imports to supply this rapidly expanding industry.
Vietnam's top five agricultural imports in 2008 along with their corresponding supplier in brackets were: residues and waste from the food industries (used as animal feed) $1,329 million (India); meat and edible meat offal $900 million (India and US); animal or vegetable fats and oils $647 million, (Malaysia and Indonesia); beverages, spirits and vinegar $507 million (Singapore and Hong Kong); cereals $443 million Australia.
Top consumer oriented exports in 2009 were bovine products ($5.3 million), swine/ham products ($5.2 million), chick and capon cuts ($1.5 million), food preparations ($900,000), and animal/vegetable oils ($600,000). Exports in this category decreased by 29% between 2008 and 2009, but have increased by nearly a sevenfold since 2006.
Exports of intermediate goods dropped 43% between 2008 and 2009 to reach $15.1 million. Despite the decrease, export totals in 2009 are roughly doubled the value of 2006. In this category colza seed oil-cake, poultry and animal feeds experienced significant growth since 2006, while exports of bovine hides fell 80% to $2 million in 2009.
Bulk commodities continue to dominate the Vietnamese agricultural import market. Bulk wheat and barley exports have declined for the past several years while soybean exports have increased significantly ($47,000 in 2006 to nearly $2 million in 2009). Bulk commodities will remain important for the near future for several reason. First, Vietnamese food purchases continue to be made primarily in outdoor, informal wet markets. Food purchases made in modern supermarkets sit at roughly 10% of total purchases. But for Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, high value and processed goods are in very low demand. In addition, the government is encouraging a modern food-processing sector able to utilize Vietnam’s ample agricultural resources, meanwhile importing bulk items from the domestic and regional market.
Since 2000, the semi-processed and high-value commodity imports have grown rapidly, spurred largely by the fast growth in the number of young, affluent, urban Vietnamese consumers. Supermarket shoppers are increasingly looking for pre-made ready to cook meals. Local industry is currently meeting this need, but must expand is illustrating an opportunity for future growth.
Wet markets continue to dominate food shopping. Processed goods are becoming increasingly available at wet markets. Traditional diets dominate- rice, fruits, vegetables, pork, seafood, and chicken. Recent issues with chicken safety have opened the doors to more beef. Many exporters have found Vietnam’s traditional markets an entry point for processed products (non-perishables).
Despite an increase in awareness of health quality standards, this is still a price sensitive market in which shoppers generally shop daily in traditional food markets. Supermarkets are rapidly increasing, from two in 1999 to...