Chinese fruit inundate Vietnam

By Hong Chau   September 6, 2022 | 05:00 am PT
Chinese fruit inundate Vietnam
Chinese mangoes sold at a fruit store in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo by VnExpress/Hong Chau
Chinese fruits are flooding into Vietnam as their improved quality and affordability convince local consumers to reduce their prejudice regarding the neighbor country’s produce.

Hang, a vendor at Can Cu Market in Go Vap District, said there are now six types of grapes sold in Vietnam, compared to two in previous years.

Premium Chinese grapes are sold at VND80,000-100,000 ($3.53-4.19) per kilogram, the same as Vietnamese grapes.

"I sell between 20 and 30 kilograms of Chinese red grapes every day. The fruit is big, beautiful and its quality is consistent."

Oanh, a vendor in Binh Thanh District, sells mostly Chinese fruits these days, with pomegranates, grapes and apples the most popular products.

"There are also organic fruits, but customers need to order up to three days ahead."

Lan, an importer in Thu Duc City, said her purchase of Chinese fruits has risen 60-80% in the last two months compared to the same period last year, thanks to rising demand.

In the first seven months, China was Vietnam’s biggest fruit and vegetable import market with a value of $388 million, up 64% year-on-year, according to Vietnam Customs.

China accounts for more than 36% of Vietnam’s fruit and vegetable imports.

For a long time, Vietnamese have expressed concerns about the quality of Chinese fruits, but the prejudice seems to be declining.

Hong, a resident of Go Vap District, said he has always had doubts about Chinese fruits, but recent gifts from friends and family changed her mind.

"Before, Chinese grapes went bad within two or three days, but now they last longer, and their packaging has improved."

Loan in District 5 said she buys fruits that are sold domestically in China as their quality is well preserved and their price tags much lower than that of France and Japan.

Dang Phuc Nguyen, general secretary of Vietnam Fruits Association, said Chinese fruit are viewed with new eyes in Vietnam because in recent years China has been improving its food safety standards.

Chinese farmers have been upgrading their methods and ensure their produce are traceable.

"Chinese fruit prices are competitive, which helps them regain their market share in Vietnam."

Another reason entails the ability of Chinese exporters to send their goods to Vietnam via unofficial quotas, which means faster delivery, Nguyen said, adding the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership also helps.

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