Durian usurps dragon fruit’s crown as Vietnam’s top fruit export

By Thi Ha   July 8, 2023 | 03:15 pm PT
Durian has replaced dragon fruit as Vietnam’s biggest fruit export item after a 10-fold surge year-on-year to US$526 million in the first five months of this year.

Exports of dragon fruit, which held the top position for 10 years, were down 11% to $307 million, according to Vietnam Customs.

The jump in durian exports follows a protocol signed with China last year for export of the fresh fruit. China bought more than 96% of the fresh durian exported by Vietnam.

Last year exports of the fruit had been worth $420 million.

Chairman of the Vietnam Fruits & Vegetables Association, Dang Phuc Nguyen, expects fresh durian exports of $1.2 billion this year and $2 billion within the next two years.

But Vietnam faces strong competition from Thailand, which remains the biggest supplier of durian to China, accounting in fact for 85% of that country’s $2.66 billion worth of imports of the fruit in the first five months.

In Vietnam, 293 farming areas and 115 packaging facilities are approved to export fresh durian to China.

Along with durian and dragon fruit, banana, mango and jackfruit made up the top five export items in the first five months.

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