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Fruit and veggie exports expected to reach US$5 billion this year

The Saigon Times

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HCMC – Vietnam’s fruit and vegetable export target by 2025 is US$5 billion. However, this goal may be achieved as early as this year if the current export pace is maintained, said Dang Phuc Nguyen, general secretary of the Vietnam Fruit and Vegetable Association (Vinafruit).

In June, fruit and vegetable exports generated US$1 billion, up a staggering 2.7 times over the same period last year, said Vinafruit. The total value of January-June exports amounted to US$3 billion, equivalent to 94.9% of the total in 2022.

China continues to be the leading market for Vietnam’s fruit and vegetable exporters, with a market share of nearly 63.5% and a growth rate of over 12.4% year-on-year. From January to May, fruit and veggie exports to China skirted US$1.3 billion.

China is followed by South Korea, Japan, and the Netherlands, which all show promising growth. However, exports of fruits and vegetables to the U.S. have inched down by 12% versus the same period last year.

Exporters attributed the significant growth in fruit and vegetable exports to the stronger demand of China, facilitated by an agreement signed with the neighboring country last year. Despite China’s strict technical and food safety regulations, Vietnamese products are gaining popularity due to their improving quality and competitive prices.

Many types of Vietnamese fruits are entering the harvest season. With a staggered harvesting pattern, there is still significant potential for fruit and vegetable exports this year, said Nguyen Dinh Tung, vice chairman of Vinafruit.

Dragon fruit, mango, rambutan, durian, and longan account for over 62% of the total harvested area, with the production of these fruits contributing to over 54% of the total output.

Among the exported fruit varieties, durian has demonstrated the highest growth rate. In the first five months of 2023, durian exports generated over US$503 million, up 18-fold over the same period last year. The Chinese market is the primary destination for durian from Vietnam, accounting for 84.3% of the total export value of durian.

This robust rise is attributable to the memorandum of understanding signed in July last year between Vietnam and China regarding phytosanitary requirements for durian exports from Vietnam to the Chinese market.

To further boost fruit and vegetable exports to the Chinese market, Vietnam has proposed that China facilitate shipments of other fruits and vegetables, such as pomelo, fresh coconut, avocado, lime, pineapple, and starapple.

The estimated export value of processed fruit and vegetable products totaled US$550 million in the first six months of 2023, a 24% year-on-year rise. This segment has consistently maintained a positive growth trajectory and holds huge potential for growth due to the increasing global demand for processed fruits and vegetables in people’s diets.

Fruit and vegetable exports are forecasted to sustain high growth in the coming months, driven by increasing domestic production and demand from global markets.

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