HANOI, VIETNAM — Large COVID-19 outbreaks in recent months in Vietnam have led the government to increase social distancing measures, causing disruptions in the country’s agricultural food chain, according to a Global Agricultural Information Network report from the Foreign Agricultural Service of the US Department of Agriculture (USDA).

“Trade contacts reported difficulties in inter-provincial movement and delayed transportation of all agricultural products from farm to markets, making it hard for farmers to sell products,” the USDA said.

Widespread closures and downscaled operations in the hotel and foodservice sector in all 19 southern provinces resulted in lower demand for domestic pork and poultry products, the report said.

With lower demand for feed from the livestock industry, along with the downscale in feed operations, the USDA revised its feed demand estimates for 2021 and 2022 down to 26.2 million tonnes and 27.5 million tonnes, respectively.

The USDA revised its 2021-22 corn consumption estimates for Vietnam down 150,000 tonnes to 14.35 million in anticipation of declining feed demand in the second half of 2021.

Meanwhile, it revised wheat consumption upward to 3.65 million tonnes as the feed industry turns to wheat as an alternative to corn.