Northern province blocks fruit trucks headed for China border

By Minh Cuong   February 12, 2022 | 08:26 pm PT
Northern province blocks fruit trucks headed for China border
Trucks stuck at a border gate in northern Lang Son Province, December 2021. Photo by VnExpress/Ngoc Thanh
Lang Son has decided to stop receiving fruit trucks headed for the China border for ten days starting February 16 as over 1,000 trucks are still stuck in the province.

The provincial Department of Industry and Trade said that as of Friday morning, the total number of trucks waiting at the three border gates of Huu Nghi, Tan Thanh and Chi Ma was 1,640, of which 1,390 were carrying fresh fruit, accounting for nearly 85 percent.

Due to China's strict Covid-19 measures, customs clearance efficiency has been very low, with just 70-90 trucks able to cross the borders a day.

Meanwhile, around 160 to 180 trucks reach the border gate every day, most of them carrying fresh fruits like dragonfruit, watermelon, jackfruit and mango. This will further worsen congestion at the border and damage businesses as well as farmers, officials said.

The congestion at the northern border gates started in December 2021 after China strengthened its anti-Covid prevention measures. By mid-January 2022, afraid that their fruits would rot, many business owners had returned to the domestic market and sold them at very cheap prices.

The government, ministries, branches and localities have had held many meetings on the issue but an effective solution to the problem has remained elusive.

According to the General Department of Vietnam Customs, Vietnam earned $1.75 billion from exporting fruits and vegetables to China in the first 11 months of 2021, up 3.6 percent year-on-year despite Covid-19 impacts.

China remained Vietnam’s top fruits and vegetables export market with a market share of 54 percent in the 11-month period.

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