Pham Duc Binh, deputy chairman of the Viet Nam Animal Feed Association, attributed the lower import value to decreasing prices of imported fodder and more abundant supply of products on the local market.
"Lower import prices stem from the reduced prices of raw materials for fodder. The materials include corn, cereal grains, soy-beans and cassava, among others," he said.
In addition, it was time for the harvest of cereal grains, potatoes, wheat and winter-spring rice crops. With the lower prices of paddy, many enterprises had selected paddy for fodder. Thus, the prices of final products also decreased, he said.
The great dependence on raw material imports for fodder has made final product prices in Viet Nam 10-15 per cent higher than in Thailand and China, he added.
Thus, supply of fodder on the local market was not enough to satisfy local demand. Le Ba Lich, chairman of the association, said: "Viet Nam has to import 35 per cent in volume and 45 per cent in value out of the total demand for the local market."
Lich attributed the dependence on imported materials to the fact that Viet Nam still lacks a master plan on land for material plantations.
He added that cassava was essential in feed processing and that the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development should map out specific plans for cassava plantations so as to meet local market demand as well as support a decrease in import taxes.
Last year, Viet Nam imported 8.9 million tonnes of raw materials for feed, totalling $3.7 billion. This volume accounted for up to 62 per cent of total demand.