Vietnam's appetite for imported fruit grows in first half of 2016

By Ngoc Tuyen   July 19, 2016 | 07:55 am GMT+7

Despite favorable conditions for fruit and vegetable production, Vietnam is still looking overseas for its fruit fix.

Data released by Vietnam Customs said that the country spent more than $350 million on fruit imports in the first six months of this year, surging 39.5 percent against the same period last year.

Vietnam’s key suppliers were Thailand, China and the U.S.

In the past, China was the country's main fruit supplier, but last year Thailand surpassed it to dominate Vietnam’s fruit market.

Over the six-month period, Vietnam spent $143 million on fruit from Thailand, jumping 83 percent on-year. China ranked second with a 30 percent jump to hit $80 million while the U.S ranked third with $32 million, up 6.4 percent.

Vietnam also reached out to New Zealand and Australia, with import value from the two countries rising to more than $11 million from just under $5 million in the first half of last year.

Fruit imports can be found on the shelves of big supermarkets like Big C, Metro and Fivimart, but have also found their way into traditional markets where they are competing with homegrown products.

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