Vietnam’s honey industry is too dependent on the US market. Therefore, the US Department of Commerce (DOC)’s anti-dumping investigation on honey products from mid-May 2021 until now has severely affected honey exports as well as the lives of beekeepers.
Speaking at the seminar: “The honey industry responds to the US anti-dumping investigation” taking place this morning, November 2, 2021, Mr. Dinh Quyet Tam, Chairman of the Vietnam Beekeepers Association said that Vietnam is currently exporting honey to 12 countries and regions.
In 2020, honey exports to the EU will reach over 3,000 tons; exports to the UK also increased significantly.
In the Asian market, Vietnam now exports honey to Japan and South Korea. However, the protectionism of the Korean market is very high. In Japan, Vietnam can only negotiate to export 150 tons/year and increase by 5 tons/year.
“Besides, Vietnam has also exported to Indonesia and Malaysia. Especially, this year Vietnam started exporting to Saudi Arabia and Oman,” Mr. Tam said.
Mr. Dinh Quyet Tam said, in terms of quality, honey is a completely natural sweetener, without any human processing, and is the only product eaten directly, so the requirements are very high.
According to EU and US regulations, antibiotic residues are not allowed in honey. Therefore, to export products to these two markets, it is necessary to go through four or five steps of inspection from domestic as well as foreign countries. Vietnamese honey completely accepts the standards of domestic and international markets.
Currently, the US is the largest export market of Vietnamese honey. Mr. Tong Xuan Chinh, Deputy Director of the Department of Livestock Production (Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development) said that in 30 years of exporting honey to the US, the quantity has constantly increased. In 2020, Vietnam exported nearly 50,000 tons of honey to the US.
Up to 95% of Vietnam’s honey exports are to the US. That proves the important position of this market with Vietnamese honey.
According to some experts, the decision of the US Department of Commerce (DOC) to conduct an anti-dumping investigation on honey products from Brazil, India, Ukraine, Argentina, and Vietnam in mid-May 2021 to now has directly affected the export as well as the domestic production market.
“The honey industry is too dependent on the US, for an incident that will have a heavy impact on exports. The price of honey has dropped and a lot of beekeepers are worried. Most of the businesses in the system are small, medium, and even very small in size. Beekeepers are also very few, so moving from the US causes many difficulties for businesses and affects the lives of beekeepers,” Mr. Chinh said.
According to agriculture expert Hoang Trong Thuy, the US is a high value-added market. This is the dream of many countries. If this market is lost, it will be a disadvantage for the beekeeping industry and businesses. “We have to look back on the problems that have not been solved to try to improve, to avoid losing a large market like the US,” Mr. Thuy said.
Mr. Chinh said it is necessary to diversify markets and expand exports to many other countries in the world; avoid relying too much on a market like the current one. Businesses and people also need to focus more on product quality and speed up production in quantity.
Some people think that besides exporting, we should focus on exploiting the domestic market of 100 million people.
“Honey products can be processed foods to protect everyone’s health, and honey is also a beauty product for women. Those are two advantages that bring high added value to honey. However, when interested in the domestic market, a sales and distribution system must be established,” Mr. Hoang Trong Thuy said.