Vietnam Imports Soybean Meal for $2 billion


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After planting Soybeans for an extended period, Mr. Dang Quang Chieu in Cu Jut district, Dak Nong province of Vietnam, has only seen real profits in the past three years. A business provided Chieu with new, high-yield, high-quality seeds that doubled his sales prices and significantly improved his family’s income.

Many farmers in the area, after moving away from growing Soybeans due to low productivity, are now planting the crop again. This is attributed to the Vinasoy Soybean Research and Application Centre’s active research, selection, and testing of a non-GMO Soybean variety from more than 1,530 precious genetic resources, which it provides to local farmers.

The area for Soybean growing in Vietnam has continually declined since 2010, from nearly 198,000 hectares to just over 37,000 hectares. If this situation continues, Vietnam will face a shortage of 3.5-5 million tons of Soybeans annually and will have to outlay 2-3 billion USD on imports. The main reason behind the decline is the low yield and poor quality of Soybeans, which cannot compete with Soybeans from elsewhere. The active creation of high-quality Soybean varieties will help businesses develop high-quality and stable raw material areas for agricultural processing.

Vietnam must still spend 5 billion USD annually importing Soybeans and corn for domestic processing. Resolving this issue cannot be done overnight, but with the cooperation of farmers and businesses, Vietnam is expected to ease its dependence on material imports soon. According to AgFlow data, Vietnam imported 0.5 million tons of Soybeans in Jan-March 2023. Brazil exported 274,221 tons in March, while the US shipped 22,355 tons.

Soybean Meal in Vietnam

In 2021, Vietnam imported Soybean Meal worth $2.1 billion, becoming the world’s 2nd largest importer of Soybean Meal. In the same year, Soybean Meal was Vietnam’s 30th most imported product. Vietnam imports Soybean Meal primarily from: Argentina ($1.44 billion), Brazil ($555 million), India ($55.4 million), the United States ($25.5 million), and China ($16 million).

In 2021, Vietnam exported Soybean Meal worth $178 million, making it the world’s 14th largest exporter of Soybean Meal. In the same year, Soybean Meal was Vietnam’s 218th most exported product. The leading destination of Soybean Meal exports from Vietnam is the Philippines ($84.6 million), Cambodia ($49 million), India ($33.4 million), Indonesia ($4.99 million), and Burma ($3.56 million).

Previously, Soybean Meal imported to Vietnam was exempt from tax. But since January 1, 2016, when Circular 182/2015/TT-BTC took effect, imported Soybean Meal has been subject to a 2% tax. At that time, many livestock experts reckoned that imposing a tax on imported Soybean Meal would increase the cost of animal feed, thereby increasing the cost of livestock and making it difficult for Vietnamese livestock products to compete against foreign counterparts.

It is because Soybean Meal accounts for a large proportion of all types of feed, even poultry and aqua feed. Specifically, information revealed by some livestock industry experts shows that Soybean Meal accounts for 12-18% of animal feed, 18-32% of poultry feed, and 35-40% of aqua feed.

Because of its significant proportion, the total demand for Soybean Meal has also increased significantly when the total amount of feed produced in Vietnam has grown. In 2011, the total market for Soybean Meal was nearly 3.1 million tons. By 2020, the total demand for Soybean Meal reached more than 6 million tons, almost double the amount ten years ago.

Most Soybean Meal has been imported to meet the domestic demand. The total market for Soybean Meal was approximately 3.1 million tons in 2011. In 2020, Soybean Meal imports were more than 5.1 million tons (worth more than $1.9 billion) out of a total demand of 6 million tons.

Other sources: EN VIETNAM PLUS

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