Cheap American chicken pieces flooding the Vietnamese market have managed to grab a 30-40% share in Ho Chi Minh City.
American chickens have an advantage over their Vietnamese counterparts, due to US technology in that sector and the low cost of exporting unsold chicken pieces to Vietnam.
While the price of imported whole chickens to Vietnam is equal to or higher than the price of domestic chickens, US chicken pieces are sold for much lower.
Domestic chicken wings cost a little over $3 per kilogram, while American chicken wings are sold at almost half that price, ($1.75). Imported chicken legs are sold at a reasonable $2.60 per kg.
Nguyen Hoang Duong Ltd in Hanoi has been the only company importing chickens from the US for the Hanoi market for the last seven or eight months.
Company director Nguyen Trong Thai said he immediately thought of US partners when the bird-flu outbreak pushed up chicken prices in Vietnam.
“In the future, when Vietnam joins the World Trade Organisation, the price of US chickens on the Vietnamese market is likely to fall 15-20%. We’re considering increasing the amount we import,” said Thai.
US exporters keep the chicken breasts for domestic distribution and export the other parts at lower prices.
Some Vietnamese enterprises have classified their products and exported chicken breasts to European countries and the US and sold chicken legs and wings domestically
Prices for imported chickens run from $0.80 to $1.20 a kilogram and rise to a still-competitive $0.96 to $1.44 after imposition of a 20% import tax.