Fruit, vegetable exports top $4B

By Thi Ha   September 21, 2023 | 07:40 pm PT
Fruit, vegetable exports top $4B
Durians are about to be packed for export to China at a warehouse in Cai Lay District of Tien Giang Province, southern Vietnam, February 2023. Photo by VnExpress/Linh Dan
Fruit and vegetable exports in the first three quarters are worth an estimated US$4.1 billion, 24% more than in full-year 2022, Vinafruit said, citing customs data.

Vinafruit, or the Vietnam Fruits and Vegetable Association, said durian, banana and dragon fruit were the main contributors to the increase, with durian in the lead after climbing into the billion-dollar export club.

China has been by far the biggest importer, buying $2.3 billion worth of fruits and vegetables from Vietnam in the first eight months of the year, a 134% increase year-on-year and accounting for a 64% share.

The next three biggest importers have been the U.S. ($168 million, 6% down in the same period), South Korea ($148 million, up 18%), and Japan ($123 million, up 6%).

Durian exports increased 20-fold this year. Unlike the Thai and Philippine varieties, Vietnamese durian can be harvested even in the so-called off-season, and their exports fetch higher prices as a result.

China also bought bananas and jackfruit from Vietnam at higher prices and is considering buying fresh coconuts through official quotas.

The U.S. recently allowed imports husked coconut from Vietnam.

According to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Vietnam plans to both export more items and to more markets, including passion fruit to the U.S. and Australia; grapefruit to Japan, Korea, Australia, and India; durian to India; and citrus fruits, coconut and durian to China.

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