The Hanoitimes - Vietnam’s import and export of vegetables and fruits saw strong growth in the first two months of 2017.Vietnam spent 164 million USD importing vegetables and fruits during Jan-Feb, a year-on-year increase of 54.7 percent, the General Department of Customs said.
Most imports were from Thailand, which accounted for 50 percent or 82 million USD, and China, which stood at 19 percent or 31 million USD, of the total vegetable and fruit imports.
Other major markets that Vietnam has imported vegetables and fruits from are the US for a value of 13 million USD, New Zealand for 3.8 million USD and Australia for 2.5 million USD. The import value of vegetables and fruits from Thailand in the first two months doubled the figure of the same period in 2016, the general department said.
According to the ministries of agriculture and rural development and of industry and trade, the country has been importing vegetable and fruit products mostly from Asia Pacific countries. The main items imported include cabbage, lettuce, potato, orange and apple from China; apple, orange and cherry from New Zealand and Australia; and mango, custard apple and tamarind from Thailand, dantri.com.vn has reported.
Japanese apples have been sold at supermarkets in Vietnam since last year
Recently, the General Department of Customs warned that many goods that are being produced locally have been imported, increasing the trade deficit. They included vegetables and fruits from China, Thailand, Australia and New Zealand.
The department pointed out that vegetable and fruit imports from Thailand have increased sharply in the past two years, and that many of these products are already produced at home. Thai vegetables and fruits entered the local market via distribution channels of hypermarkets and modern retail shops after Thai retail groups bought two large hypermarkets, Big C and Metro, in 2015 and 2016. They have been promoting Thai products at the hypermarkets as well as retail sale systems in Vietnam.
Vu Vinh Phu, Chairman of the Hanoi Supermarket Association, said Vietnam should only import vegetables and fruits that it did not produce locally, such as cherries. It was importing fruits that it grows, such as longan, mango, durian and dragon fruit, which has affected the Vietnamese vegetable and fruit producers, whose competitive ability in terms of quality and price is weak, reported vneconomy.vn.
At the mean times, Vietnam gained a 33 percent year-on-year increase in the fruit and vegetable export value on 2016. This was mainly due to higher demand in China’s market, said the Vietnam Fruit and Vegetables Association.
According to the General Department of Customs, China was the largest export market for Vietnam’s fruit and vegetables, accounting for 70 percent of the national export volume of these products in the first five months of the year.
The total export value of local fruit and vegetable products reached year-on-year growth of 80 percent, touching 692 million USD in the first five months, the department said. The United States was the largest export market for local fruit, with a year-on-year increase in export value of 62 percent to reach 37 million USD.
The Republic of Korea was the third-largest export market, with year-on-year growth of 25.7 percent to reach 35.4 million USD. In the first half of this year, Vietnam exported 4,608 tonnes of fresh fruit to fiercely competitive markets such as the United States, Japan, the Republic of Korea, New Zealand and Australia, of which 72 percent was dragon fruit.
In the future, dragon fruit exports are expected to increase even further because such exports from Vietnam to Taiwan will recover after the latter’s block on fruit imports is lifted. Taiwan plans to import 14,000-16,000 tonnes of dragon fruit per year.
Vietnam expects to make 2 billion USD on fruit and vegetable exports this year because the nation may enter three more competitive markets, Japan, the European Union and the United States, according to the association.
Last year, Vietnam’s fruit and vegetable export value reached 1.8 billion USD, 23.7 percent higher than 2014, making it one of the top five farming export products in Vietnam, alongside rice, coffee, cashew nuts and rubber.
Vietnamese fruit and vegetable products have been exported to 40 countries and territories. Of these, major export markets include mainland China, Japan, the United States and Russia, in addition to the Republic of Korea, Indonesia and the Netherlands. The other countries are Thailand and Singapore.
Translated by Tuan Minh