In recent years, pig farming is constantly facing risks and difficulties because of prices and diseases. Since the end of 2020 until now, the price of animal feed has continuously increased while the selling price of live pigs has decreased, causing many difficulties and high risk of losses for livestock farmers.

The price index of materials, fuels used for agriculture, forestry and fishing in the second quarter of 2021 increased by 2.29% compared to the previous quarter and by 7.25% over the same period last year; in which, feed price index in the second quarter of 2021 increased by 3.1% compared to the previous quarter and by 5.95% over the same period last year. Generally, in the first 6 months of 2021, the price index of materials, fuels used for agricultural, forestry and fishery increased by 6.83% over the same period last year; in which, livestock products in 6 months increased by 15.26% over the same period last year, especially the price of pig products increased by 9.56%. The main reasons were due to the impact of the decrease in the supply of animal feed in the world, the high cost of transporting imported materials from the lack of ships and containers affected by the Covid-19 epidemic; climate change causes crop failure, disadvantage in some major exporting countries; a number of countries diverted investment in agricultural products and China increased the purchase of raw materials for animal feed, causing the price of animal feed to increase in the world; in Vietnam, the source of animal feed ingredients was mainly imported (accounting for about 80%-85%), the import price of animal feed in the first 6 months of 2021 increased by 8.71% over the same period in 2020, so the affect domestic feed prices.

In addition to the difficulties in the price of animal feed, the price of piglets is still high due to the impact of the African swine fever epidemic at the end of 2019. Livestock establishments focus on investing in strengthening biosecurity measures to ensure disease safety. These factors have increased input costs in livestock production, especially pig raising establishments that use 100% of industrial feed and cannot supply their own breeding stock, so they have to buy them from other places.

It can be seen that smallholder farmers are the ones who suffer the most because they have to buy bran through agents of level 2 and level 3; higher than that of a level 1 agent. Meanwhile, most large farms have contracts with feed companies, so in addition to enjoying wholesale prices equal to level 1 agents, they are also rewarded with a percentage at the end of the year, so there is less affected. Similarly, large livestock farms that are self-sufficient in breeding stock are still a little profitable, livestock farmers who are not self-sufficient in breeding stock but have to buy it are almost breakeven, if the risk of loss in the process of raising, then losses.

Contrary to the upward trend of input prices, live hog prices decreased during the “price storm” of animal feed. In the first 6 months of the year, African swine fever was basically controlled, only small outbreaks occurred, localities re-herd, the supply of live pigs is gradually recovering, making live hog prices continue to reduce. It is estimated that the total number of pigs in the country as of the end of June 2021 increased by 11.6% compared to the same period in 2020; output of live pork for slaughter in 6 months is estimated at 2002,2 thousand tons, went up by 8.1% (estimated at 1003.7 thousand tons in the second quarter, went up by 8.6%) compared to the same period in 2020, at the same time, competition with imported pork sources also reduces domestic hog prices. Live hog price in June 2021 in the Northern provinces ranges from 68,000-76,000 VND/kg; Central and Central Highlands from 68,000-75,000 VND/kg; in the South from 70,000-75,000 VND/kg, the price of live pigs in the regions decreased by about 15,000-17,000 VND/kg over the same period last year; On average, in June 2021, hog price index decreased by 18.73% compared to the same period last year.

The price of consumer pork in June 2021 decreased by 2% compared to the previous month (making the overall CPI decrease by 0.07 percentage points). Pork prices fell due to the complicated development of the Covid-19 epidemic in many localities, many restaurants, eateries, and schools had to close, making the consumption of pork goods decreased while pork supply increased. Accordingly, prices of roast meat, spring rolls decreased by 0.48%; other processed meat decreased by 0.01%; pork fat decreased by 3.62%. On average, in the first 6 months of this year, the price of pork decreased by 4.15%.

To overcome the current difficulties, enterprises need to actively increase their raw material reserves for production, avoiding shortages when prices are high. Combined with stockpiling, businesses and production households need to actively make the most of available domestic materials to replace imported sources such as dried cashews, cashew bran, cassava residue, rice bran. In addition, management agencies need to research flexibly on tax policies as well as reduce transportation and warehousing costs to reduce costs, ensure supply and stabilize domestic production. At the same time, it is necessary to focus on doing well in disease prevention; apply biosecurity measures for livestock production; in which the source of imported breeding stock for rearing must ensure its origin and be free of diseases; fully vaccinated with all vaccines and regularly cleaned and disinfected barns to minimize the risk of loss in the breeding process. In addition, in the medium term, it is necessary to study the transformation of husbandry methods from small to concentrated; building a link chain from production to consumption of products to improve quality, efficiency, safety, help reduce intermediary costs and develop sustainably.