Fruit exports to China slump on tightened Covid-19 restrictions

By Thi Ha   June 8, 2022 | 09:38 pm PT
Fruit exports to China slump on tightened Covid-19 restrictions
A merchant weighs jackfruits purchased from orchards in the southern province of Dong Thap. Photo by VnExpress/Ngoc Tai
Vietnam’s vegetable and fruit exports to China fell 28 percent year-on-year to $625 million in the first four months as the major importer extended its zero Covid strategy.

The plunge resulted in a 14 percent drop in total fruit and vegetable export value, as China accounts for over 50 percent of Vietnam’s $1.17 billion worth of fruits and vegetables export.

China has been tightening control over imported agro products through stricter monitoring of farm and packing facilities, said Le Thanh Tung, deputy head of the Department of Crop Production under the agriculture ministry.

Its stringent lockdowns have also lengthened the export negotiation process, with Chinese experts unable to inspect farming areas in person.

Chinese authorities have also strengthened quarantine regulations and clearance procedures, causing congestion of fruit trucks at border gates.

On May 23, some 815 and 287 trucks were stuck in the northern provinces of Lang Son and Quang Ninh, respectively, with 35 percent of them carrying fresh fruits.

Tung also pointed out that Vietnamese farmers were suffering skyrocketing input costs, driven by higher fertilizer and pesticide prices.

Vietnam mainly exports fresh fruits and other agricultural produce due to limited domestic capacity in processing, so the sector has been severely impacted by adverse conditions.

Tung called on the agriculture ministry to restructure the production chain of agro produce, including issuing guidelines on building chain-based logistical supply systems.

It is also necessary to boost cooperation with global partners to open up new markets, he said.

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