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Delegation explores how to fill Asia pork needs with U.S. productsDelegation explores how to fill Asia pork needs with U.S. products

With the current status of TPP, Vietnam could have the potential to be the next South Korea.

October 2, 2018

2 Min Read
Delegation explores how to fill Asia pork needs with U.S. products

Source: U.S. Meat Export Federation
Quality, consistency and reliability … that’s what pork industry leaders emphasized this past week on their Asia Immersion Mission Trip. Delegates from the National Pork Board’s International Marketing Committee, accompanied by staff members of the U.S. Meat Export Federation, have just returned from a series of industry visits in Singapore, Vietnam, Hong Kong and Macau.

Committee member Randy Spronk, a pig farmer from Edgerton, Minn., who also chairs the USMEF Pork and Allied Industries Committee, says the mission was to find key export markets to target and help move more product off domestic shelves.

“If you were to look at our domestic market, we’ve got record production, we’ve got record inventory of market hogs. The addition of five packing plants within the United States, with the potential to grow our packing capacity by 10% was forecast between 2018 and 2019 — our inventories are going to be up over 9% so we have a lot of supply,” Spronk says. “We are really investigating which markets do we need to target for additional resources to move that product and differentiate that carcass.”

Singapore and Vietnam are two places where the delegation concentrated their marketing efforts on this mission trip.

“We started talking about attributes that are valuable to the high-end market that is in Singapore here. What cuts are they looking for? How can we advance and increase sales in these markets?” Spronk says. “It was just a great opportunity to look at an emerging market like that, that has a lot of culinary trends.”

With the current status of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, Spronk says they also see Vietnam having the potential to be the next South Korea. South Korea is dramatically up with picnics and butts, and Vietnam could potentially be in that same category. In 2017, the United States exported more than $12 million in pork and pork variety meats to Vietnam. Today, the country is a large and growing trading partner for U.S. pork products among the Southeast Asian nations, and second only to the Philippines.

Spronk says the one concern importers consistently conveyed during the mission trip was instability in pricing.

“Multiple times over the importers have talked about the volatility in pricing,” Spronk says. “That’s the important thing that we’ve been really telling them, that the value proposition that we have with pork products that come out of the United States and the opportunity to be able to go in and supplement what they are raising domestically.”

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