Though the local supply is predicted to be redundant, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and the Ministry of Industry and Trade still decided to grant an import quota of 102,000 tonnes of salt in 2012, or equal to last year’s level.
The agriculture ministry estimated the total salt supply will reach 1.52 million tonnes this year, while the local demand is 1.45 million, including some 280,000 tonnes of industrial salt.
Though the ministry has constantly stated the domestic output of industrial salt can satisfy local consumption demand, enterprises in need of industrial salt still ask for more import quotas. Dao Quang Tuyen, general director of Viet Tri Chemical Joint Stock Co., said local producers cannot supply his firm with sufficient amount of industrial salt.
Meanwhile, the edible salt produced locally is always redundant. Undersupply of industrial salt and redundancy of edible salt has been a headache of the country’s agricultural industry in the past years.
Bui Son Long, director of Vietnam Northern Food Corporation’s Branch for Salt Experiment and Technology Transfer, said this situation would remain the same without synchronous plan of the central authority.
He told the Daily that other countries only distribute 17 percent of the output as edible salt, while the remainder is for industrial production. On the other hand, some 75 percent of Vietnam’s salt output is used for eating, and only 15 percent is saved for industrial use.