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Cheap US chicken threatens Vietnamese poultry industry

The availability this month of cheap US chicken has caused domestic Vietnamese chicken prices to plummet. The industry says that newer technology and the ability to export unused chicken parts cheaply have given the US an advantage.

While domestic chicken costs at around VND40-60,000 (US$2.5-3.75) per kg, chicken from the US can be around half that price at VND32-34,000 ($2-2.12).

An executive of Goodfood company, which imports chicken from the US, said that they have imported chicken ever since January when Vietnam opened the chicken market to countries free from bird-flu epidemic.

Explaining the price difference between Vietnamese and US products, Goodfood's executive said that the modern and technologically advanced large-scale production facilities in the US simply have the edge over the small-time household production in Vietnam.

However, Van Duc Muoi, deputy of Vissan food company, cited the different food preferences of Americans as the main reason.Muoi explained that Americans mostly use chicken breasts, but don't eat other parts.

"That's why US importers usually keep the breast meat for domestic distribution while exporting other parts at lower price," Muoi said.

The price of a whole imported US chicken is equal or higher than price of a domestic bird, but parts are sold at a much lower price.

Editor WorldPoultry

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