U.S., Vietnam sign $500 million deal to form ‘Pork Consortium’

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HANOI (Reuters) – The Vietnam Trade Alliance, a grouping of buyers and producers, signed a pact on Wednesday to buy up to $500 million worth of American pork over three years, the U.S. embassy in Hanoi said on Wednesday.

A memorandum of understanding called a “U.S.-Vietnam Pork Consortium” was signed with Smithfield Foods and other U.S. pork producers on the sideline of a virtual Indo-Pacific Business Forum on Wednesday.

Pork accounts for three-quarters of total meat consumption in Vietnam, a country of 96 million people where most of its farm-raised pigs are consumed domestically.

The Southeast Asian country is rebuilding its hog herd after an outbreak of African swine fever first detected in February last year forced it to cull millions of pigs, or 20% of the herd. In May it said it would buy 20,000 breeding pigs from Thailand.

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