After Vietnamese imports fell over the past few months, pig prices have stayed stable, though industry insiders say the domestic supply is not enough to meet the market’s demand.
A price decline for pigs began in 2015 when China stopped importing from the Kingdom’s eastern neighbour, citing quality concerns. Cheap livestock then flooded into the Cambodian market.
Prices fell from $2 to $1 per kg at that time, said M’s Pig ACMC (Cambodia) Co Ltd general manager Ly Laville. However, he noted that prices have surpassed $2 since mid-year, as the supply from Vietnam fell.
“Because Vietnam cleared out its stocks, many of our local farmers went bankrupt and have no confidence in starting again, even if it is profitable."
“Our livestock market depends on neighbouring countries, so it is hard for our pig farmers to build trust, as there is no government regulation to protect them.”
Ministry of Agriculture animal production chief Seang Soklin said that increased demand has pushed up prices.
He said the ministry has a policy of promoting domestic animal farmers, but declined to provide details of such initiatives.
Although the ministry officially permits only 1,250 head of pigs to be imported from Vietnam each day, the real amount can reach to more than 2,000, said Cambodia Pig Farmers Association director Srun Poav.
While more than 60 per cent of local smallholder farmers went under due to the price decline, Poav said he has not seen any policy raised by the ministry to aid local farmers.
He said the current price of 9,000 riel ($2.25) per kg was good for farmers. “However, they are still scared of loses,” he said, adding that local smallholders were able to supply between 2,000 and 3,000 live pigs daily to the domestic market.
Cambodians consume about 3.2 million pigs per year or about 8,767 pigs per day, the Ministry of Agriculture said.