Russia ranked first among meat suppliers to Vietnam in the first half of this year, the Agroexport Federal Center, part of the Russian Agriculture Ministry said last week. “According to results of the first half of 2021, Russia captured the first place among meat exporters to Vietnam, Following Russia, Vietnam’s top five meat suppliers were the US, India, the Netherlands and Poland.”
Russia exported 61,800 tonnes of meat to Vietnam in January-June 2021, which is 2.6 times above the same period in 2020, according to Russian customs statistics. Meat products increased 2.5 times in value terms to US$121 million. Russian pork exports accounted for the bulk of supplies, with shipment surging 2.5 times to 55,000 tonnes worth US$116 million. Russia also shipped 6,100 tonnes of poultry worth US$3.4 million and 993 tonnes of beef valued at US$1.5 million in the first six months of 2021.
Vietnam became the top buyer of Russian pork in the first half of this year and accounted for more than a half of Russian exported pork shipments.
These increases, and those in other sectors, have been due to the Vietnam-Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) Free Trade Agreement, which was originally signed off in mid 2015. The EAEU is a trade bloc between Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Russia, and has a GDP of US$2.2 trillion. Vietnamese consumers have been increasingly turning to Russian imported consumables as well as electric and other products. Bilateral agricultural trade has doubled in the past 12 months. According to Russia’s Federal Customs Service, in 2020, the two countries’ bilateral trade stood at US$5.7 billion, up 15 percent from 2019 and 50 percent from 2016. Russia’s export to Vietnam and Vietnam’s export to Russia hit US$1.6 and US$4 billion, increasing 43 and 7 percent on-year, respectively.
Vietnam is a member of ASEAN and has a population of about 90 million with a rapidly growing middle-class consumer base. As a member of ASEAN, it also has free trade with the other ASEAN members of Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand, in addition to further free trade agreements with China and India.