Fruit prices drop by half

By Hong Chau   February 16, 2023 | 06:52 pm PT
Fruit prices drop by half
King oranges sold at a market in Ho Chi Minh City, February 2023. Photo by VnExpress/Hong Chau
Oranges, coconuts, and wax apples are currently sold at VND1,000-7,000 (4-29 U.S. cents) per kilogram at farm, half the prices compared to a month ago.

In Ho Chi Minh City these days, vendors are selling king oranges at VND7,000-20,000 per kilo depending on the size and quality of the fruit, along the sidewalk, on mobile trolleys or in wet markets. The prices have decreased 50%.

Coconut is being sold at VND5,000-8,000 per fruit, pomelo VND8,000-15,000 per kilo, wax apple VND10,000-15,000 per kilo, down 30-50% compared to two months ago.

Dat, who owns a one-hectare king orange farm in Tra On District of the Mekong Delta’s Vinh Long Province, said traders have bought his family’s oranges at VND4,000-5,000 per kilo and for this crop, he has lost almost VND100 million (US$4,228).

The loss mainly comes from the cost of fertilizers and drugs, and yet to including the efforts.

But he said "for those that have to rent land to grow oranges, the loss would even double."

Wax apples farmers in An Phuoc Commune, Long Thanh District of Dong Nai Province that borders HCMC said they are suffering "heavy losses" as the fruit’s prices sold at farm fall sharply to VND6,000-7,000 per kilo.

In Ben Tre Province, Vietnam’s coconut kingdom, prices of dry coconut have also halved compared to the same period last year and farmers have reported to lose VND20-50 million for every hectare of coconut with prices dropping by half.

Huynh Quang Duc, deputy director of Ben Tre’s Agriculture Department, said the reason for prices of dry coconut prices to fall sharply is because after Covid-19, many countries with large coconut areas such as India, Indonesia, and the Philippines have lots of dried coconut inventories, resulting in a supply surge on the market, pushing the prices down.

As for king orange, the Vinh Long Province’s Agriculture Department said consumers in northern and central Vietnam have lost appetite for the fruit during the past month under impacts of prolonged cold waves.

Meanwhile, the supply source has remained abundant as farmers prepared a lot for Tet sales in January and then the crop in February resulted in high yield.

Tra On District now has as many as 50,000 tons of oranges in stock and from now until early March, an extra of 60,000 tons will be harvested, according to the department.

As per an approved plan, Vinh Long only have 12,000 hectares for king orange farming but in the past two years, with prices of the fruit on the rise and farmers earning profits, they have rushed to grow the fruit, expanding the farming area to 17,000 hectares.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has asked localities to support farmers by strengthening the connection between farms and supermarkets as well as fruit shops and online markets to help farmers sell all of their ripe oranges, despite the low prices.

Several supermarket chains in HCMC are buying in oranges at VND10,000-14,000 per kilo.

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