HANOI, VIETNAM — Vietnam’s feed demand continues to wane as the country’s pig repopulation efforts to rebound from the African swine fever (ASF) remains unsuccessful, according to a Dec. 31 Global Agricultural Information Network report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

The USDA report revises its market year 2017-18 wheat import estimate for Vietnam up to 4.8 million tonnes while in wheat milling imports in market year 2018-19 remained flat due to a saturated local flour market. Feed wheat imports fell 55%. The 2019-20 estimate for wheat and flour imports remains similar to the 2018-19 estimate of 3.5 million tonnes, the USDA said.

On top of the pig population issues, the price gap between feed wheat and corn continues to widen since October 2018, encouraging feed millers to substitute corn.

Feed corn also experienced demand issues with ASF killing 22% of Vietnam’s swine population. The USDA revised Vietnam’s corn consumption to 12.5 million tonnes in market year 2019-20. However, with a local ethanol producer looking to switch to corn from cassava, a fresh demand for corn is expected in 2020-21.

Yet, Vietnam’s corn production is trending down to 4.5 million tonnes for market year 2019-20, especially for feed corn, due to stiff competition from imported corn, the USDA noted.

The report revised Vietnam’s market year 2018-19 corn imports up to 10.5 million tonnes but reduced its 2019-20 estimate to 10 million tonnes due to high carry-over stock and reduced feed demand.