Vietnam achieved a growth in the fruit and vegetable export value for the first half of 2016. - (Photo: danviet.vn) 

Hanoi (VNA) – Vietnam gained a 33 percent year-on-year increase in the fruit and vegetable export value to reach 1.17 billion USD for the first half of 2016, officials said.

This was mainly due to higher demand in China’s market, said the Vietnam Fruit and Vegetables Association.

According to the General Department of Customs, China was the largest export market for Vietnam’s fruit and vegetables, accounting for 70 percent of the national export volume of these products in the first five months of the year.

The total export value of local fruit and vegetable products reached year-on-year growth of 80 percent, touching 692 million USD in the first five months, the department said.

The United States was the largest export market for local fruit, with a year-on-year increase in export value of 62 percent to reach 37 million USD.

The Republic of Korea was the third-largest export market, with year-on-year growth of 25.7 percent to reach 35.4 million USD.

In the first half of this year, Vietnam exported 4,608 tonnes of fresh fruit to fiercely competitive markets such as the United States, Japan, the Republic of Korea, New Zealand and Australia, of which 72 percent was dragon fruit.

In the future, dragon fruit exports are expected to increase even further because such exports from Vietnam to Taiwan will recover after the latter’s block on fruit imports is lifted. Taiwan plans to import 14,000-16,000 tonnes of dragon fruit per year.

Vietnam expects to make 2 billion USD on fruit and vegetable exports this year because the nation may enter three more competitive markets, Japan, the European Union and the United States, according to the association.

Last year, Vietnam’s fruit and vegetable export value reached 1.8 billion USD, 23.7 percent higher than 2014, making it one of the top five farming export products in Vietnam, alongside rice, coffee, cashew nuts and rubber.

Vietnamese fruit and vegetable products have been exported to 40 countries and territories. Of these, major export markets include mainland China, Japan, the United States and Russia, in addition to the Republic of Korea, Indonesia and the Netherlands. The other countries are Thailand and Singapore.-VNA