Vietnamese exporters hit hard by China lockdown

By Thi Ha   April 30, 2022 | 05:05 pm PT
Vietnamese exporters hit hard by China lockdown
A driver checks fruit quality at the border with China in Lang Son Province in December 2021. Photo by VnExpress/Ngoc Thanh
Vietnamese exporters are finding it difficult to ship their products to China, where tightened Covid-19 measures are doubling transportation time and quadrupling costs.

Since the beginning of this year mango exporter Thanh Tung of the southern province of Dong Thap has been unable to export to China and only been able to sell his fruits domestically.

He blamed it on the stringent restrictions, with some cities locked own.

"Many farmers have stopped harvesting mangoes as prices have fallen to very low levels and there are no buyers".

Another exporter in the southern province of Long An, who asked not be identified, said the transportation time to China has doubled due to delayed customs procedures.

He has stopped exporting to China and is looking for other options.

The recent lockdowns in Shanghai and other Chinese cities have brought fresh challenges to Vietnamese exporters who were already facing difficulties in sending their goods across the border since the end of last year.

Forty six cities are currently under full or partial lockdown, affecting 343 million people, Reuters reported Friday.

Bloomberg said containers in Shangha port have to wait 12.1 days before trucks come to pick them up, three times the time it used to take at the end of March.

Vo Quan Huy, director of banana export company Huy Long An, said a shortage of containers causes his export orders to be delayed by days.

His employees have to work even at night as container arrival schedules are unpredictable, he said.

The cost of shipping the fruit to China has nearly quadrupled from a year ago to VND7,500 per kilogram, he said.

"We made profits in the first four months, but margins have largely been eaten up by the rising costs".

Yet he is not trying to find other markets, and is instead looking for ways to cut costs.

"We cannot switch to a new market whenever difficulties arise. We need to learn to adapt".

China was Vietnam’s second biggest export market behind the U.S. in the first quarter at $13.7 billion.

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