New Delhi — Vietnam's corn imports in February plunged 49% year-on-year to 354,750 mt, according to data released Wednesday by the country's customs department.
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For the first two months of this year imports dropped to 1.1 million mt from 1.6 million mt a year ago.
Argentina and Brazil accounted for most of the imports, the data showed.
Feed demand from the pork industry, which accounts for bulk of corn consumption, has taken a hit due to African swine fever.
According to Rabobank estimates, Vietnam lost nearly 7.5 million pigs, or 27% of the total herd, to African swine fever during February-November 2019, impacting corn demand -- a major feed ingredient.
Vietnam's corn demand is seen falling 13.2% year-on-year in 2020, while corn imports are seen dropping sharply by 17.9% from 2019, Rabobank said in a report.
Vietnam is one of the largest corn buyers in the world. The country imported 11.5 million mt of corn in 2019, up almost 14% year-on-year, according to the customs data.
"Despite the slower spread of ASF, we expect a further 12% year on year decline in 2020 total herd," Rabobank said in the report.
There is a reluctance among the growers to re-populate hogs due to fear of fresh contagion and working capital constraints, it said.