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Friday,  Dec 15,2017,22:53 (GMT+7)

Veggie and fruit exports continue strong growth

Trung Chanh
Thursday,  Dec 7,2017,23:15 (GMT+7)
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Veggie and fruit exports continue strong growth

Trung Chanh

A grower harvests rambutan. The nation’s exports of vegetables and fruits have grown steadily in recent years - PHOTO: TRUNG CHANH

CAN THO – The nation’s exports of vegetables and fruits have grown steadily in recent years, with revenue projected at US$3.5 billion this year, according to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.

Addressing a seminar on fruit production and export promotion held in Tien Giang Province on December 6, Deputy Minister Le Quoc Doanh said the past year had seen rapid growth in vegetable and fruit export.

According to data given by Doanh, export revenue from such products was only US$151 million in 2003, but the figure exceeded US$1 billion 10 years later. Last year, it neared US$2.5 billion.

Nguyen Hong Son, director general of the ministry’s Department of Crop Production, said the country had exported US$3.16 billion worth of vegetables and fruits as of last month, up 43.2% year-on-year.

Growth of vegetable and fruit exports, according to Son, is attributed to the Chinese market, but this has led to a heavier reliance on this northern market.

In particular, while the Chinese market accounted for 28% of Vietnam’s exports of vegetables and fruits in 2013, the proportion rose to 30% in 2014, 65% in 2015 and 70.8% in 2016. 

Exports to China have kept surging and made up 75.6% of total exports in January-November, Son said.

Though Vietnam’s vegetable and fruit exporters depend much on the Chinese market, the Department of Crop Production stays optimistic about export prospects of these products, with turnover estimated to climb to US$4.5 billion in 2020 and US$7 billion in 2030.

Explaining the high targets, Son said, world exports of vegetables and fruits are always high. He quoted data of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) as saying that exports grew 12.2% per year on average between 2004 and 2013, from US$110.7 billion to US$232 billion.

In addition, fresh fruits of Vietnam have been shipped to more foreign markets, including both easy and choosy markets like China, ASEAN, the Middle East, Canada, the EU, the U.S., Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and Chile, said Le Van Thiet, deputy head of the Department of Plant Protection.

Vietnam’s dragon fruit, rambutan, longan and star apple are now present in the U.S., South Korea and Taiwan, helping promote fruit exports in the coming time, according to Thiet.

However, China has started tightening plant quarantine and reducing imports via unofficial channels. “Two weeks ago, China requested examinations of our farming and packaging facilities for fear of pests.” Thiet said.

Regarding vegetable and fruit imports into Vietnam, the 2008-2014 period saw an annual value ranging from US$200 million to US$500 million, but the value soared to US$622 million in 2015 and US$925 million last year, according to the Department of Crop Production.

Son said, “Vietnam imported more than US$1.2 billion worth of vegetables and fruits in January-September this year alone, with 59% from Thailand, 17% from China, 6% from the U.S., 4.4% from Australia.”

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