VIETNAM INCREASES PORK FEED IMPORTS

OECD data show per-capita use of pork in Vietnam will reach 75 pounds by 2023, up from nearly 66 pounds now and more than the estimated 73 pounds expected in China by then. More meat on the menu is a by-product of economic growth in Vietnam. Per-capita gross domestic product jumped 42 percent over the past five years to $2,173.65 and is forecast to increase 43 percent to $3,105.41 in 2021, according to the IMF.

Corn is the world's most-common feed grain, followed by soybeans, which are crushed to make cooking oil, with the leftover meal sold to livestock producers. The country has to buy about 70 percent of feed ingredients from overseas, according to Animal Husbandry Association. Corn imports last year surged 59 percent to a record 7.55 million metric tons, while domestic production rose 1.5 percent to 5.28 million tons, according to Vietnam's agriculture ministry. Purchases of soybean meal will reach an all-time high of 5.2 million tons in 2017, up from 2.28 million in 2012; whole soybeans purchases will reach a record 1.75 million tons next year, USDA data show.

Feed demand is expanding at more than 10 percent a year, and the country may need more than 20 million tons of industrial feed by 2018. By 2022, the value of the domestic market for animal feed will reach $10.55 billion, according to Grand View Research Inc. That would mark an increase of more than 50 percent from now, based on the estimate of $7 billion by Masan Group Corp., the country's largest feed producer after Charoen Pokphand Group.

Cargill opened an $8.5 million plant in May that was its 11th in Vietnam and will complete construction of a $30 million mill in the second half of 2017. Masan Group last year acquired feed makers Proconco and Anco. Dabaco Corp. is set to start operations this year at a plant that can churn out 200,000 tons annually and is planning two other 150,000-ton plants, targeting total capacity of 1 million tons by the end of 2019.

(WSJ)