Vietnam meat imports to rise sharply in 2011

TN News

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The Ministry of Industry and Trade has said Vietnam will have to import a lot of meat this year as the prolonged cold weather has killed a lot of cattle.

Vietnam's meat consumption will be around 2.9 million tons this year, up 7 percent from 2010. To meet this demand, the country will have to import up to 100,000 tons of meat, the Vietnam News Agency cited the ministry's import-export division as saying.

It said the large import was needed because many heads of cattle as well as domestic fowl in the country have been badly affected by bad weather as well as diseases.

According to the Animal Husbandry Department at the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, the ongoing cold spell in the north of the country, which started early this month, has already killed at least 8,000 heads of cattle.

Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung has ordered provincial authorities in the northern region to take necessary and aggressive measures to protect cattle and minimize damage caused by the cold weather.

During the weekend, temperatures in the region fell to as low as 7 degrees Celsius (around 44 degrees Fahrenheit).

Market analysts said meat prices are likely to surge in the coming days as the country prepares for an eight-day Tet holiday early next month.

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