Global Market Report – South East Asia

Paul Anderson, General Manager South East Asia


I am writing this having just arrived in Manila, the capital city of the Philippines, having already held business meetings in Thailand and Vietnam over the last couple of weeks with pig businesses farming several hundred thousand sows.


Pork consumption is stable, although facing an oversupply since the last quarter of 2016. The price of live pigs (ex-farm) in Thailand has risen slightly to USD 1.67/kg due to the government’s measure to boost consumption. It did so by injecting cash into certain income groups to spend during the Lunar New Year festival. Surachai Sutthitham, President of the Swine Raisers Association of Thailand, said pork prices went down since the second half of 2016 due to oversupply of pork and slowing consumer demand amid low agricultural prices. But there is confidence in the pig business and there are some companies building greenfield site modern pig farms with high technology. I visited one such farm currently under construction to very high standards that will house 8,000 sows, Although the construction continues, some pig farmers decided to postpone stocking the farm last year due to lower pig prices.

Recently Colistin has come under the microscope. Colistin is an antibiotic widely used to control diarrhoea in pigs. A plan to stop using antibiotics in pig production was proposed but academics in Thailand have opposed the plan. They say the use of antibiotics, including Colistin, in livestock production is essential, as the drug helps improve farming conditions and reduce bacterial infections in farm animals. Meanwhile, Thailand’s Department of Livestock Development (DLD) recently told livestock and related associations including the Swine Raisers Association of Thailand, Veterinary Practitioner Association of Thailand and Veterinary Council of Thailand that they should control and reduce the use of antibiotics in animals, especially colistin. It said the colistin use should be the last resort in curing disease in pigs, not for promoting growth or disease prevention. There has been concerns in recent months over the improper use of colistin in pig farms, which could lead to drug resistant bacteria.

The DLD said antibiotics are one of the necessary tools to control and cure diseases in both humans and animals but their application should be tighten to prevent their side effects, especially from antibiotic resistant bacteria. There are also other options to consider non-antibiotic feed additive, and of course, don’t forget genetics. The quality of Genesus piglets sired by Genesus Duroc start life with a good uniform heavy birthweight, wean heavier and the high appetite of the Genesus pig really comes into play during the nursery reducing health issues that cause diarrhoea, unevenness, high mortality. This leads to lifetime weight gains previously thought unbelievable.

The Thai Feed Mill Association said Thailand is expected to demand nearly 20 million tonnes of feed in 2017 (60% for poultry, 30% for swine and 10% for aquaculture).

In the year, the entire feed and livestock industry in Thailand would be valued about USD 23 billion. The association is working with the entire value chain in the industry to increase standards on food safety. In doing so, it is encouraging its members, which are composed of about 80 feedmillers, to apply standards such as GMP and HAACP to ensure safety of feed supplies to livestock farms across the country.


Vietnam is the fourteenth-most populous country in the world with 93.5 million people. The population is expected to reach 98.2 million by 2020.The agriculture sector employs 47% of the workforce.

According to the livestock animal department of Vietnam, in 2016 the big and medium size pig farm increased production by 23% compared with 2015. In 2016, Vietnam has 4.3 million sows and the number of progeny is yet to rise above the 31 million. This will produce about 6 million tons of pig meat, with consumption at 37 – 38 kilograms per person per year, total pig meat required for the Vietnam population will be in the region of 3-3.5 million tons. This shows the requirement to export pig meat and the lower numbers of pigs entering China is one of the main reasons for the reduction in the pig price since the end of the year 2016. The current price now is 35,000vnd (USD 1.54) per kg live weight causing most producers to lose money. Many countries in the world would be very profitable at this price, which is why the Vietnam pig producers need to reduce the cost of production through use of Management techniques, Genetics, Nutrition and improved health.

The higher pig prices seen earlier in 2016 have seen a growth of pork imports in 2016 to 9,022 tonnes, up 136.7% on 2015, but still, 86% of Vietnamese people prefer meat purchased from wet markets.

 The growth of the commercial pig farm continues to grow with several new businesses venturing into pigs in a big way with individual company plans to have 20-50,000 sows and the big pig businesses continue to grow at the same time.


Pig farmers struggle despite rising demand

Trucks full of pigs trundled down the streets in the days leading up to Chinese New Year. Demand for honey-roasted pork soared by more than ten-fold, according to vendors on Monivong Boulevard in Phnom Penh. Average pork prices in the city rose by between 10% and 15%, according to Agriculture Minister, Veng Bakhon. The vendors and Mr Sakhon both reported that the pork market continues to grow, with the swelling middle class. Demand for pork has climbed 23% over the past five years, the minister said. However, Cambodia’s pig farmers tell a different story, they said holiday demand didn’t reach the heartland. A crackdown on illegal pork exports from Vietnam into China has created an oversupply that is flowing into Cambodia, depressing prices, according to farmers. (Source: The Cambodia Daily)

Interest in Improved meat quality

There is a real interest in S. E. Asia in improving the meat eating quality of pork, this was a major topic during the discussions in our meetings. Genesus is streets in front of the competition, having been focused on this since 1998.

VIV ASIA 2017, Bangkok

We will be pleased to see you at VIV Asia on the Genesus Booth number  2161 in Hall 100.

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This post was written by Genesus