Vietnam is poised for a significant upswing in its agricultural export value to China this year, thanks to a collaborative effort with China to review regulations permitting the official export of poultry meat from Vietnam to the Chinese market.
In the year 2023, livestock products constituted only 1 percent of the total agricultural, forestry, and fishery export value to China, amounting to US$12.2 billion. This modest share was primarily attributed to Vietnam's lack of official authorization for meat product exports to China.
Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Trần Thành Nam, underscored the immense potential for exporting meat products from Vietnam to China. China boasts a vast market of 1.4 billion consumers and an annual demand for meat products reaching an impressive $400 billion. This potential hints at the possibility for livestock product exports, encompassing poultry meat and pork, to ascend to the billion-dollar export category.
For numerous years, many of Vietnam's livestock products, including pork, beef, chicken, and buffalo meat, have been subject to unofficial quotas at border crossings. These products have encountered assorted border-related obstacles, as well as heightened scrutiny and stricter control standards.
At present, Vietnam exclusively exports two livestock products to China: bird's nests and milk, in strict compliance with protocols inked in 2022 and 2019, respectively. Notably, milk and milk products have witnessed a rapid surge in exports to China, constituting a staggering 93 percent of the overall export value of Vietnam's livestock products to China.
Tống Xuân Chinh, Deputy Director of the Department of Livestock Production, reported an impressive 26.2 percent year-on-year surge in livestock product exports in 2023, amounting to $515 million. By contrast, the import value of livestock products witnessed a decline of 4.4 percent in comparison to 2022, settling at $3.53 billion.
Despite these commendable strides, the export value of livestock products remains notably lower than the import value, accentuating the untapped potential for further expansion. In 2023, Vietnam exported more than 34 million eggs, representing a threefold increase in comparison to 2022. The resumption of poultry egg exports to Hong Kong in July 2023, accounting for approximately 70 percent of total egg exports from Vietnam, marked a significant milestone. Furthermore, Vietnam successfully concluded negotiations with Mongolia in November 2023, enabling the export of poultry meat and eggs to the Mongolian market.
In 2023, Vietnam exported 12,300 tonnes of pork, generating nearly $63.3 million, reflecting a 28 percent surge compared to 2022. Fresh, chilled, or frozen pork products were dispatched to Papua New Guinea, Laos, and Malaysia. Vietnam's fresh milk exports also surged by 1.7 times in 2023 compared to the preceding year, reaching a total of $204 million, with a notable increase in fresh milk exports to China, soaring from $48 million in 2022 to $123 million in 2023.
Additionally, seven Vietnam-based enterprises successfully exported a total of 700 kilograms of bird's nests to China. This achievement follows Vietnam's approval for official bird's nest exports to China in the previous year, demonstrating the burgeoning potential for Vietnam's livestock product exports to the Chinese market.