Report Highlights: 

In Marketing Year (MY) 2012/13 (Calendar Year 2013), U.S. soybean exports to Vietnam were 556 thousand metric tons (TMT), a drop of 3.7 percent from the previous year, but an increase of 145 percent over 2011. In MY 2013/14, U.S. soybean exports are expected to reach about 600 TMT as Vietnam’s domestic crushing increases. In MY 2012/13, total soybean meal (SBM) imports rebounded to 2.97 million metric tons (MMT), a 19 percent increase over the previous year, as the feed sector recovered from the economic slowdown. This sector continues to improve and Post forecasts 2014 and 2015 SBM imports to slightly increase, to 3.1 and 3.2 MMT, respectively. Local soy oil production in 2013 dropped 9.8 percent due to lower than expected crushing, and exports dropped by 13 percent from the previous year due to lower production.

Executive Summary:

Vietnam’s oilseed production continues to fall well below demand from the food industry and the livestock and aquaculture feed sectors due to low yield and strong competition from other field crops, namely corn. 

Imports of soybeans in 2013 were 1.26 MMT, a drop of 13.7 percent from the previous year due to lower than expected crushing demand. In MY 2012/13, U.S. soybean exports to Vietnam were 556 thousand metric tons (TMT), a drop of 3.7 percent from the previous year, but an increase of 145 percent over the 2011 level due to rising demand from the two soybean crushing facilities, and from the food and feed industries. U.S. soybean export share has grown to 45 percent in MY 2013/14, more than double U.S. market share in 2010/11. 

Although Vietnam started domestically producing SBM on an industrial scale in 2011, Vietnam continues to import the majority of the SBM consumed to offset the protein shortage in the country and meet the growing demand of the animal and aquaculture feed industries. In MY 2012/13, Vietnam imported about 2.97 MMT of SBM, an increase of 19 percent over the previous year due to increasing demand for protein feed and reduced domestic crush. In 2013, U.S. SBM exports increased to 376 TMT, a significant increase of 158 percent over the previous year. A large part of this growth was an increase in U.S. soy flour exports to Vietnam. Post forecasts 2014 and 2015 total SBM imports to increase to 3.1 and 3.2 MMT, respectively, as demand from the feed industry rebounds from the economic slowdown. 

Vietnam continues to rely heavily on imported refined oil to meet consumer demand, although domestically produced crude soybean oil has been widely available in the country since 2011. In 2013, Vietnam produced about 193 TMT of crude soy oil from commercial crushing facilities, but continued to import an estimated 710 TMT of crude and refined vegetable oils to meet local consumption and export demand. In 2013, refined vegetable oil imports were at 634 TMT, a slight drop from the previous year, and crude vegetable oil imports increased 17 percent over the year ago due to the lower availability of domestic crude soy oil caused by lower crush. Refined vegetable oil imports accounted for 89 percent of total imported vegetable oils. Post forecasts that total vegetable oil imports in 2014 will remain in the 700-740 TMT range. Growth in imports will be slowed due to the rise in locally produced soybean oil. Vietnam’s exports of both refined and crude vegetable oils skyrocketed in 2013 reaching an estimated 154 TMT of all types of vegetable oils, of which crude soy oil accounted for 48 percent, refined soy oil accounted for 14 percent and palm and other vegetable oils accounted for 38 percent. Post estimates soy oil exports at 90 TMT in both MY 2013/2014 and MY2014/2015.

Oilseed, Soybean

Production:

Vietnam’s MY 2012/13 soybean production decreased 3 percent from the previous year to 168 thousand metric tons (TMT) due to unfavorable weather. The storm season was very heavy during MY2012/13 reducing yield and harvested area. The scale of soybean production remains small, compared to other crops, and continues to fall far short of domestic demand. Post estimates the growing area of about 120 thousand hectares in MY 2013/14 and 130 thousand ha in MY 2014/15; and production to increase to 176 TMT and 192 TMT, respectively if weather is favorable. Soybean competitiveness vis-à-vis corn cultivation remains limited as per hectare revenue for soybean cultivation remains lower than corn cultivation. The major soybean cultivation area is concentrated in the Red River Delta the North of Vietnam. 

Post doubts that soybean production will increase in the coming years and reach the level that the Government of Vietnam has set for the sector in the Master Plan for Oilseeds, 350 thousand ha and 700 thousand tons by 2020, due to generally low yields of oilseeds crops, and slow expansion in growing areas. Competitiveness is a major disincentive to the expansion of the soybean sector overall. 

In 2013, the Socialist Republic of Vietnam (GVN)’s finalized the regulatory procedure for granting a bio-safety certificate to an agricultural biotech trait (Circular 08/2013/TT-BTNMT), allowing farmers to commercially cultivate biotech crops. However, to date, field trials have not been conducted on biotech soybean varieties in Vietnam. Confined field trials are the first step in the bio-safety certificate regulatory process. Corn field trials were completed in 2011 and 2012, and the approval dossiers for five corn varieties were submitted to the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment in July 2013. When approved, biotech varieties of corn can be commercially cultivated in Vietnam. This will further reduce the competiveness of soybean cultivation as per hectare revenue for the new corn varieties will also exceed revenue from soybean cultivation. 

Since Vietnam joined the International Union for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants (UPOV) in 2006, Vietnam has registered 90 crop varieties/species, including soybeans and peanuts (mostly local varieties), for plant variety protection. In 2016, according to UPOV’s convention, all crop varieties/species can apply for plant variety protection in Vietnam. This factor could motivate Vietnamese scientists to continue research on better varieties, including soybeans.

Consumption:

Locally produced and imported soybeans are used to meet the growing demand for both human consumption and the animal/aquaculture feed industry. Domestically produced, full fat soybeans are mainly used for the food processing industry and household-scale soybean oil production. Only a small portion of the soybeans produced in Vietnam are used for animal feed. Imported soybeans continue to feed Vietnam’s two industrial-scale crushing plants (one in the North and one in the South of Vietnam). Approximately, 80 percent of imported soybeans went to the crushing industry, the remaining 20 percent were for human consumption and the animal feed industry. 

Currently, Vietnam’s two crushing facilities remain operational with total maximum crush capacity of 4,000 MT of soybeans per day. In 2013, crushing facilities in Vietnam report crushing about 980 TMT of soybeans; producing 732 TMT of soymeal, 193 TMT of crude soyoil, 32 TMT of soy hulls, and about 200 MT of feed grade Lecithin. Based on these estimates, Post revises the MY 2012/13 crush down to 983 TMT. Post anticipates crush will increase in MY 2013/14 to 1.1 MMT as the Vietnamese economy continues to rebound and the availability of trade finance expands. Post’s preliminary forecast for MY 2014/15 crush is 1.2 MMT based on the capacity of Vietnam’s crushing plants. 

The demand for soy protein especially from the livestock and aquaculture industries has increased considerably over the last five years, and driven the development of the domestic crushing industry. In 2013, of the 13.4 MMT of commercial animal feed production, about 3.5 MMT (about 26 percent) was soybean meal. In recent years, growth in the animal feed sector remains constrained by animal disease outbreaks, which has limited herd / flock populations, and the economic slowdown which began in 2010 and now is only moderately improving. However, according to local feed producers, swine and aquaculture feed production continued to grow during this period, indicating that those sectors fared better through the economic downturn. Aquaculture feed production grew by 20 percent in 2013 over the previous year, the highest growth rate since 2008. MARD estimates that the demand for locally-produced industrial feed will grow to 15 (MMT) by 2014; to 16 MMT by 2015, and 19 MMT by 2020.

Additionally, local demand for healthier vegetable oil, including soy oil, as well as export demand to other countries in the region remains stable. However, demand for soy oil is far less than the demand for soybean meal, limiting soybean crushing to levels below capacity. 

Food use domestic consumption of soybean products continues to grow; Post estimates the growth in food use consumption of soybeans at about 4 percent a year. Post’s MY 2013/14 and 2014/15 food use consumption estimates are 355 TMT and 370 TMT, respectively.

Trade:

Imports

For MY 12/13 (CY 2013), Post revises Vietnam’s soybean import estimated down to 1.26 MMT, a 13.7 percent decrease from the previous year due to lower than expected crushing demand. In 2013, approximately 45 percent of Vietnam’s soybean imports came from Brazil, 44 percent from the United States, and the rest sourced from Argentina, Canada, Uruguay, Paraguay, and other countries. Soybean imports from the United States were 556 TMT in MY 12/13, down slightly from the record of 577 TMT in MY 11/12, but 145 percent higher than MY 10/11 levels. The United States’ market share has increased in recent years, from 20 percent in MY 10/11 to 44 percent in 2012/13, mainly due to the consistent quality and availability of U.S. soybeans throughout the marketing year. These factors mean that U.S. exporters are able to capture sales that other countries cannot. Soybean import value reached a record $845 million in 2012 before falling to $704 million in 2013, due to lower prices in the global market. 

Under the current tariff structure, soybeans enjoy a zero percent tariff for imports from WTO member countries creating a very favorable environment for further imports from the main soybean exporters. Post forecasts MY 13/14 soybean imports at 1.35 MMT, based on Post’s projections for the operation of Vietnam’s crushing plants and demand from the food sector. Post’s initial MY 14/15 import estimate is 1.45 MMT as the growth in imports slows as the crushing facilities near their respective crushing capacities. 

In Fiscal Year 2013 (October 2012-September 2013), USDA’s Export Credit Guarantee Program (GSM-102) continued to support the growth of soybean exports to Vietnam. GSM-102 transactions for soybean exports continued to dominate GSM-102 program usage overall, accounting for 93 percent of total exports financed by GSM102. In Fiscal Year 2014, program fee changes significantly decreased the attractiveness of GSM-102, compared to other export credit facilities, and program utilization has declined.

Ports

Currently, soybean imports are shipped in both containers and bulk vessels, through the major seaports in both northern and southern Vietnam. Bulk import shipments of soybeans are more competitively priced, but only a handful of Vietnamese importers can support buying at bulk volume levels. Bulk commodity shipments, in vessels between 50,000 deadweight tonnages (DWT) and 75,000 DWT, arrive mainly at the deep-water ports in Southern Vietnam. Presently, container facilities at deep-water ports are dealing with an oversupply and an imbalance in supply and demand, due to the significant flooding of investment into the sector in the mid-2000s. The industry reported that the oversupply situation resulted, in part, from a delay in closing some of the inner-city terminals in Ho Chi Minh City. The Vietnamese Government’s Port Master Plan directs that these inner-city terminals are to be closed and traffic diverted to the newly-constructed deep-water coastal ports. As it stands, the deep-water container ports are operating at unsustainably low container volumes. 

Despite the challenges, Vietnam’s long-term growth should result in balancing the supply and demand of container deep-water port facilities. Bulk deep-water port capacity remains relatively limited and further expansion will be needed for Vietnam to reach MARD’s stated targets for animal feed and protein meat production. 

Prices

Vietnam’s average import price for soybeans in 2013 was $649/MT, the highest price in the past five years, and about a 7 percent increase over the previous year ($606/ MT). Local traders forecast that soybean import prices will remain high due to strong demand in the world market, rising oil/gas prices, higher ocean freight costs. Import prices for grade 1 and grade 2 full fat soybeans were quoted $670, and $633 per MT, CFR Ho Chi Minh City for shipment in March and April 2014, respectively, indicating a further increase in prices in early 2014 compared to 2013.

Import Tariffs

The tariff rate applied to soybeans (HS Code: 1201) imported from countries having Most Favored Nation (MFN) status with Vietnam remains 0 percent with 5 percent VAT.

Oilseed, Peanut

Production:

According to GSO statistics, Vietnam’s peanut production increased 5.2 percent in MY 2012/13 to 492 TMT. This increase was due to higher yield, which increased 6.5 percent over the previous year. Planted area in MY 2012/13 decreased 1.4 percent compared to the previous MY. 

In MY 2013/14, Post expects growing area to increase to 230 thousand ha and production to increase about 7.8 percent to 530 TMT. Favorable weather and variety improvement will boost yield and production. In 2015, Post forecasts peanut production will continue to increase, to 550 TMT, as peanut cultivated area continues to expand. The peanut planting area is focused in the North Central coast, mountainous and midland areas in the North, and the South Central Coast.

Consumption:

Post estimates that 710 TMT of peanuts (in-shell basis) were consumed domestically in Vietnam in MY 2012/13. In MY 2013/14 and MY 2014/15, Post estimates peanut consumption at 740 TMT and 770 TMT, respectively. The majority of peanuts, locally produced and imported, are used in the snack and confectionery industries with a small amount used in-shell for household consumption, extruded for cooking oil, or exported. 

Trade:

Imports

Vietnam’s total peanut imports (in-shell equivalent) were 187 TMT in MY 2012/13, a drop of 43 percent from the year before. Both in-shell and shelled imports, mainly from the United States, India, Senegal, Argentina, China and Paraguay, are used by the snack food industry in Vietnam. U.S. peanut exports to Vietnam account for 55 percent of total imports. Post forecasts imports to be 200 TMT (in-shell basis) in MY 2013/14, and increase slightly to 210 TMT in MY 2014/15.

Exports

In MY 2012/13, Vietnam continued to export a small quantity (6.5 TMT) of in-shell and shelled peanuts, mainly to Thailand and Taiwan. This is an increase of 18 percent over the year before. Post forecasts that peanut exports will increase slightly in MY 2013/14 and MY 2014/15 as exportable supplies increase.

Import Tariffs

The tariff rate applied to both in-shell and shelled peanuts (HS Codes: 120241, 120220, and 120242) imported from countries having Most Favored Nation (MFN) status with Vietnam remains 10 percent with 5 percent VAT.

Meal, Soybean

Production:

The two industrial scale crushing plants that started operations in mid-2011 have profoundly changed the oilseed and livestock sectors in Vietnam. Domestic SBM production continues to displace a substantial volume of SBM imports. Domestic SBM production was estimated at 732 TMT in MY 2012/13, a drop of 6 percent from the previous year due to reduced soybean crushing. Local SBM production is projected to continue to grow in the coming years until the capacity of the existing crush facilities is reached. The demand for soy oil continues to serve as the limiting factor for both crush, overall, and soybean meal production in the long term. Post estimates MY 2013/14 SBM production at 825 TMT, which will capture 24 percent of the domestic market. Soybean meal production will increase in MY 2014/15 to 900 TMT on increased domestic crush.

Consumption:

Almost all SBM, both domestically produced and imported, is used in the animal and aquaculture feed industries to meet surging demand for animal and aquaculture protein, both domestically and for export. Vietnam imports a small volume of soy flour (260 TMT), which is used in both the food and feed industries. In MY 2012/13, SBM consumption was estimated at 3.55 MMT. For MY 2013/14, the SBM consumption is estimated at 3.8 MMT, an increase of 7 percent from the previous year. Post’s initial MY 2014/15 SBM consumption forecast is 4.05 MMT, reflecting the steady, continued growth in the livestock sectors.

Trade:

Imports

Although Vietnam started domestically producing SBM on an industrial scale in 2011, Vietnam continues to import increasing amounts of SBM to offset the protein shortage in the country and meet the growing demand of the animal and aquaculture feed industries. In MY 2012/13, Vietnam imported about 3.0 MMT of SBM, an increase of about 19 percent over the previous year due to high demand of protein and reduced domestic crush. 

Post estimates SBM imports in MY 2013/14 will slightly increase to 3.1 MMT, and in MY 2014/15 will continue to increase to 3.2 MMT due to strong demand from feed sector. 

In MY 2012/13, Argentina remained the largest supplier of SBM to Vietnam, accounting for about 57 percent of the import market, up from 52 percent in 2012. Brazil, the other main supplier of SBM to Vietnam, accounted for 15 percent of the import market in MY 2012/13. India’s market share dropped to 12 percent in MY 2012/13, from 19 percent in MY 2011/12 due to price competitiveness and the perception that Indian SBM is lower in protein compared to sources from Argentina, Brazil, or the United States. In MY 2012/13, U.S. SBM exports to Vietnam reached a record at 376 TMT, accounting for 13 percent market share, doubling the market share in MY 2011/12. In MY 2012/13, approximately 65 percent of U.S. SBM exports to Vietnam were soybean flour (HS Code: 120810). This large growth is attributed to two factors: 1) the favorable price competitiveness of U.S. SBM via-a-vis other sources during the first quarter of 2013, and 2) the arrival of the first consistent supply of bulk U.S. SBM shipments to Vietnam during the latter part of 2013. 

Post forecasts U.S. SBM exports to Vietnam will remain competitive in MY2013/14 and should exceed MY2012/13 levels. Post estimates MY2013/14 U.S. SBM exports to increase to 390 TMT. Post forecasts U.S. SBM exports to grow in MY2014/15 to 400 TMT as the overall size of the Vietnamese feed market continues to grow to keep pace with the livestock sector.

In 2013, Vietnam also imported about 260 TMT of soybean flour mainly from the United States, India, and Taiwan, which was used for both feed and food industries. This is a significant increase over the year before (595 percent) and is due to the drop in the import duty for soybean flour (HS code: 120810) to 8 percent from 12 percent since Jan. 1st, 2012 (according to Circular 157/2011/TT-BTC dated Nov.17, 2011). Post projects soy flour imports will continue to increase in 2014 and in coming years as demand continues to grow due to population growth and rising incomes.

Exports

According to local traders, Vietnam exported about 70 TMT of soybean meal (HS Code: 230400), soy flour (HS Code: 120810), and other residues from soybeans (HS Code: 230250) in MY 2012/13. Major export markets for Vietnamese SBM were Malaysia, Cambodia, India, Singapore, Taiwan, Japan, South Korea, Philippines, and Myanmar. Post anticipates this trend to continue in future years as larger domestic crush will increase the availability of SBM for export. Although Vietnam will remain a large importer of SBM, occasional market dynamics in Vietnam and in neighboring countries allow for small amounts of SBM exports from Vietnam. 

Prices 

Vietnam’s average SBM import price in 2013 was $493 per metric ton, about a 3 percent drop from the previous year ($509). 

Currently, import prices are quoted at around $605-$608/MT CFR Haiphong for shipment in early April 2014 (any origin), and $579-$580 for shipment in June/July 2014. The quotation for U.S. SBM is $635-$640/MT CFR Haiphong for shipment in April 2014. According to local importers, the import prices could be volatile, but will likely remain at a high level in 2014 as demand remains high. 

An increasingly large segment of the industry recognizes the value in using high-protein SBM, however, to lower production costs, local feed mills are flexible and switch to a variety of feed ingredients if SBM is difficult to acquire.

Import Tariffs

• Import duty for soybean meal (HS code: 230400): 0 percent + 5 percent VAT

• Import duty for soybean flour (HS code: 120810): 8 percent + 10 percent VAT

• Import duty for soybean hulls (HS code: 230250): 0 percent + 5 percent VAT

Meal

Consumption:

Imported oilseed meals are used for the animal and aquaculture feed industries.

Trade:

In 2013, Vietnam imported about 753 TMT of other oilseed meals, an 8 percent increase over the previous year. Other imported oil meals and feed ingredients are used as substitutes for SBM and for other segments of livestock production which require a more diverse combination of feed ingredients. Total various oil meals, distillers dried grains with solubles, and corn gluten meal imports were 991 TMT in 2013, accounting for about 7 percent of commercial feed production. The share of these products in total feed production fell in 2013 compared with the previous year due to a large drop in U.S. DDGS exports to Vietnam. In late 2012, Vietnam imposed a fumigation at the point of export requirement for U.S. DDGS significantly increasing the cost of exporting to Vietnam and leading to reduced exports in 2013. 

The tax rate applied to other oilseed meals imported from countries having Most Favored Nation (MFN) status with Vietnam remains 0 percent with a 5 percent VAT.

Oil

Production:

Refined vegetable oil production

The vegetable oil industry continues to use both domestically produced crude oil products (mainly sesame, peanut, soybean, and rice bran), and imported crude and refined oils (mainly palm and soy oils) for production. According to the Ministry of Industry and Trade, Vietnam produced 718 TMT of refined vegetable oil (all types) in 2013, a 1.3 percent increase over the previous year. Refined oil production is forecast to increase to 774 TMT in 2014 and to 850 TMT in 2015 as refiners continue to take advantage of the growth in locally produced crude soybean oil and the safeguard import tariff which adds a 5 percent import duty on refined oil imports from Vietnam’s major vegetable oil competitors.

The GVN’s Development Plan for Vietnam’s Vegetable Oil Industry up to 2020, and Vision to 2025 states that Vietnam’s production target is 1.58 MMT of refined vegetable oil and 370 TMT of crude vegetable oil of all types by 2020.

Vietnam’s vegetable oil industry produces various types of products for the local and export markets. There are four main categories of vegetable oil products in the Vietnamese market: (1) Cooking oil: This is most common oil comprised of mostly of pure refined palm olein, but also includes blended olein with soy oil. (2) Salad oil: This high quality, high value oil includes pure sesame oil, peanut oil, soybean oil, rice bran oil, imported olive oil, canola oil, corn oil, etc. (3) Nutritional oil: This oil is supplemented with nutrients such as vitamins A, D, E, DHA. (4) Solid oil (vegetable fat): This oil includes frying shortening, bakery shortening, margarine, etc. 

According to local producers, palm oil is the main vegetable oil product, accounting for about 70 percent of the market. Soy oil accounts for about 23 percent while other vegetable oils account for 7 percent of the market.

Crude soy oil production

Vietnam started producing crude soy oil on a large scale in 2011. In MY 2012/13, Vietnam produced an estimated 193 TMT of crude soy oil, of which approximately 64 percent was refined into finished vegetable oil in Vietnam. In MY 2013/14, both facilities will continue to expand oil production due to increased crush, producing an estimated 220 TMT of crude and refined soybean oil, a 14 percent increase over 2013. Post forecasts MY 2014/15 soy oil production at 234 TMT.

Consumption: 

The common vegetable oils for Vietnamese consumers are palm, soy, olive, sesame, peanut, sunflower, and canola (rapeseed) oil. Local producers estimated Vietnam’s MY 2012/13 total vegetable oil consumption at 780 TMT, up about 4 percent over the previous year. 

Although no official data is available for vegetable oil consumption per capita, Post projects extremely strong growth in consumption, including soybean oil, as demand continues to grow driven by rising consumer incomes, increased urbanization, and growth of food processing industry. Additionally, consumer awareness of healthier vegetable oils is increasing, leading to a shift from animal fats to vegetable oils. This is especially the case in big cities where consumption of more costly refined oils such as imported olive and other oils, has grown considerably over the past five years. Vietnam’s vegetable oil consumption per capita was estimated to be 8.6-8.7 kg per person in 2013, which remains below the world average of 13.5 kg per capita per year. The Ministry of Trade and Industry and local producers’ project per capita consumption will increase to 16 kg per person per year by 2020, and 18.5 kg by 2025.

Currently there are about 37 local vegetable oil producers producing the four major categories of vegetable oil products (Cooking oils, Salad oils, Nutritional oils, and Solid oils) for both human consumption and food processing industry. In 2013 there were more than 70 brand names of vegetable oils available in the Vietnam market. The preferred brand names in Hanoi are Simply, Neptune and Mezan from the Cai Lan Oils and Fats Company, while Tuong An is preferred in Ho Chi Minh City. Golden Hope Nha Be’s Marvela brand is preferred in Southern Vietnam. All these companies are either wholly owned or joint stock companies of the Vietnam Vegetable Oil Industry Corporation (VOCARIMEX), a state owned enterprise.

In 2013, new brand names from Quang Minh Group and Vinacommodities Company appeared in the market (Mr. Bean, Oila, and Soon Soon from Quang Minh and Otran, Eliza, Chica, and VinaCooking Oil from Vinacommodities).

Most imported soybean and palm oil are currently for food use; only a small volume of imported oil is used in the industrial and cosmetic manufacturing sectors and feed industry. Post estimates local consumption at 595 TMT for palm oil and 220 TMT for soybean oil in MY 2013/14, respectively. In MY 2014/15, Post forecasts local consumption of palm oil at 610 TMT and soy oil at 240 TMT. 

Trade:

Imports of vegetable oils (both crude and refined) 

Vietnam’s vegetable oil industry continues to rely heavily on imported crude and refined oil to meet consumer demand, despite increasing domestic crude soybean oil production. In MY 2012/13, Vietnam imported an estimated 710 TMT of crude and refined vegetable oils of all types, a drop of almost 10 percent from the previous year due to the increasing availability of local soy oil and the imposition of a safeguard import duty on imported refined vegetable oils.

In MY 2012/13, Vietnam’s refined vegetable oil imports were estimated at 634 TMT, a decline of 4.6 percent from the previous year due to the safeguard duty. Vietnam continued to import a small volume of crude vegetable oil in MY2012/13. Refined vegetable oil imports in MY 2012/13 accounted for 89 percent of the total imported vegetable oils.

Total palm oil imports (both crude and refined oils) were 575 TMT in MY 2012/13, a drop of 4.6 percent compared to the previous year, accounting for almost 81 percent of total vegetable oil imports. 

Total soy oil imports (crude and refined) were 79 TMT in MY 2012/13, a rise of 50 percent over the year ago. Soy oil accounts for about 11 percent of total vegetable oil imports. Other vegetable oils, including olive oil, sunflower oil, canola oil, coconut oil, peanut oil, and etc. imported in refined, consumer-ready packaging, were 56 TMT in MY 2012/13, accounting for about 8 percent of total vegetable oil imports. Post forecasts that total vegetable oil imports in MY 2013/14 will remain in the 700 – 740 TMT range. Growth in imports will be slowed due to rise in locally produced soybean oil and the continued imposition of the safeguard duty on refined vegetable oil.

Imports of crude vegetable oil 

Vietnam’s total crude vegetable oil imports in MY 2012/13 were 76 TMT, an increase of 17 percent over the previous year, but 76 percent less then MY 2010/11. Crude soy oil from Argentina, Thailand and Brazil accounted for almost 83 percent of total crude vegetable oil imports. Crude palm oil from Malaysia and Indonesia accounted for much of the remaining crude vegetable oil imports. Post estimates crude oil imports will likely remain at MY 2012/13 levels.

Imports of refined vegetable oil

Vietnam’s refined vegetable oil imports for MY 2012/13 were 634 TMT, a drop of 4.6 percent from the previous year. Refined palm oil imports from Malaysia, Indonesia, and other countries accounted for about 89 percent of total refined vegetable oil. Other vegetable oils, which are mostly in consumer-ready packaging, accounted for 8.3 percent of total refined vegetable oil imports, and soybean oil accounted for 2.5 percent of the total refined vegetable oil imports in MY 2012/13. 

In MY 2013/14, Post forecasts refined oil imports at 640 - 650 TMT. Of this estimate, Post forecasts palm oil imports, and soy oil and other vegetable oil imports at 580 TMT and 70 TMT, respectively. Post’s initial forecast for MY 2014/15 pegs palm oil imports at 590 TMT and soy oil imports at 20 TMT.

Import Tariff

Since 2013, the import tariff for both crude and refined vegetable oil from ATIGA (ASEAN) countries dropped to zero putting significant pressure on Vietnamese vegetable oil refiners. On August 23, 2013, the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MOIT) released Decision 5987/QD-BTC retroactively instituting a safeguard action on imports of refined soybean and palm oil originating from a list of exporting countries. The safeguard imposes an additional 5 percent import tax on imported refined soy and palm oil products from certain countries for the first year, starting May 7, 2013, and will decrease 1 percent each year until being eliminated after May 6, 2017. The safeguard applies to ASEAN refined palm oil exporters (Malaysia and Indonesia) and Argentine, U.S., and Brazilian refined soybean oil. 

Exports

Currently, there is no official export volume data available for vegetable oils. In previous years, VOCARIMEX companies were the main exporters of vegetables oils. However, in 2011, new producers also began exporting vegetable oil products overseas. According to trade data from Global Trade Atlas, Vietnam’s exports of all types of refined and crude vegetable oils reached an estimated 154 TMT in MY 2012/13, a drop of 15 percent from the previous year (180 TMT). MY 2012/13 export value was about $153 million. Of total MY 2012/13 Vietnamese vegetable oil exports, crude soy oil accounted for 48 percent, refined soy oil for 14 percent, and palm oil and other vegetable oil for 38 percent. Post’s initial estimates MY 2013/14 and MY2014/15 soy oil exports at 90 TMT for both MYs.