Indian beef imports half local price

Beef and buffalo meat imported from India are being sold for VND60,000-100,000 (US$2.47-4) per kilogram on some online marketplaces in Vietnam, half the price of local beef.

Vietnam imports meat and meat products from 44 countries in the world, according to data from the General Department of Vietnam Customs. In the first 10 months of 2023, it imported 127,000 tons of meat and meat products from India, making the country Vietnam’s biggest meat supplier with a 22.2% market share.

In the same period, the average price of these imported products decreased 6.8% year-on-year, down to VND72,000 (US$3) per kilo.

Oanh, who operates a meat import business in Ho Chi Minh City’s Tan Binh District, said beef imported from India had never been as cheap as it has been in previous years.

Some online marketplaces are selling Indian beef brisket for just VND63,000 a kilo, and topside for VND107,000-110,000 a kilo.

In comparison, Vietnamese beef fillet is currently priced at VND250,000-280,000 per kilo, while American and Australian beef can fetch as much as VND350,000-450,000 a kilo, Oanh said.

Toan, who runs a frozen meat importer in District 7, said this year, he imported all cuts of Indian beef and buffalo meat.

These products are well-liked by meat processing facilities and restaurants due to their low prices and quality on par with beef from other countries, Toan said.

“They were imported through official quotas and vacuum-packed before being shipped to Vietnam, so they meet all food safety regulations.”

Cattle and buffaloes are raised on a large scale in India and the country accounts for 58-60% of the world’s cattle and buffalo population, yet consumption of beef and buffalo meat is very low in the country.

Therefore, most of the beef produced in India is exported and the abundance of supply causes prices to plummet.

Smuggling is also to blame, says the Animal Husbandry Association of Vietnam, an organization representing the livestock and veterinary industry.

According to official statistics, there were131 cases of cattle and poultry smuggling in Vietnam over the first nine months of 2023, up 14.5 times from the previous year.