Vietnam's feed wheat imports increase sharply

by Holly Demare
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wheat seed
Vietnam does not produce wheat, and must import it annually for milling and feeding purposes. 
 
WASHINGTON, D.C., U.S. — Vietnam’s feed wheat imports increased significantly in market year 2015-16 due to its price competitiveness when compared to imported corn prices, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Foreign Agricultural Services (FAS) said in a Sept. 8 report.

Vietnam does not produce wheat, and must import it annually for milling and feeding purposes. Unlike milling wheat that has maintained an almost stable import volume.  The marketing year 2015-16 total wheat consumption is estimated at 2.475 million tonnes, about 325,000 tonnes more compared to market year 2014-15 due mainly to the increase use of feed wheat in the market. The latter is due to the competitive prices of feed wheat over corn for use in animal feed and aqua feed, according to the FAS.

Vietnam’s marketing year 2016-17 wheat consumption is forecast to increase slightly due to greater demand for feed and milling wheat. The USDA attributes the increase in feed wheat consumption to the growth of the feed industry, specifically the aquaculture feed industry.

The report estimates Vietnam’s wheat imports volume in the market year 2015-16 at 2.93 million tonnes, an increase of about 600,000 tonnes compared to market year 2014-15 imported volume, due mainly to the increase in the use of feed wheat. Forecast for market year 2016-17 import volume remained at 2.7 million tonnes.

Australian milling wheat is expected to continue its dominance in the wheat import market in Vietnam, according to the FAS. However, its market share is declining from 70% to 80%, down to about 43% of Vietnam’s total wheat imported volume in market year 2015-16. In volume, Australian wheat was down from 1.3 million tonnes in market year 2014-15 to 1.26 million tonnes in market year 2015-16.

Feed wheat can be an alternative feed source mainly in place of corn, the USDA said. Imports of feed wheat depend greatly on its price competitiveness with corn prices. Feed wheat imported in market year 2015-16 increased sharply due to its price competitiveness.

corn
Imported corn is mainly used in the animal feed industry.
 
According to the FAS, imports of corn into Vietnam are up sharply from 4.9 million tonnes in the market year 2014-15 to 7.9 million tonnes in the market year 2015-16 due to its attractive prices.

Imported corn is mainly used in the animal feed industry. Imported volume depends largely on the livestock and aquaculture industries, the USDA said. Corn (including local production and imported corn), imported feed wheat, rice/rice bran (local production), cassava (local production) are energy sources for feed production and can alternatively replace each other based on the market price and availability.

The total increase of imported corn and imported feed wheat is about 3.6 million tonnes in market year 2015-16 compared to market year 2014-15. Consequently, the surplus of energy source supply in market year 2015-16 is about 2 million tonnes, according to the report.

In terms of demand, compared to market year 2014-15, the increase of energy use for feed in market year 2015-16 is expected around 500,000 tonnes, satisfying the expected 3% increase of the industry 2016.

Vietnam’s marketing year 2016-17 corn import forecast remains at 6 million tonnes. The year-over–year decline in imports is attributed to tight exportable supplies in Brazil in market year 2016-17, and expected decline in border trade, the USDA said. Feed wheat from Argentina and Brazil (in late market year 2015-16) and eastern E.U. countries (in the early market year 2016-17) will continue to be an important energy source in the Vietnam feed market, according to the FAS. 

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