A farmer in the northern province of Hung Yen harvests longan (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNS/VNA) - Northern Hung Yen province is expecting this year’s main longan crop to decline in quantity and ripen a week behind schedule. As a result, prices have shot up by 7,000 VND (31 USD cents) per kilogramme.

Doan Thi Chai, Deputy Director of the provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (DARD), said that due to high temperatures in the winter months of 2016 and the beginning of 2017, the amount of longan blossoms declined in some areas in the province.

Chai also said that since production is expected to go down, the selling price will reach an average of 35,000 VND to 36,000 VND (1.55 USD to 1.6 USD) per kilogramme. A majority of supermarkets and big suppliers have signed contracts with farms and cooperatives in Hung Yen at 1.55 USD per kilogramme of longan.

The decline in longan output may mean trouble for exporters, as the added 31 USD cents per kilogramme will put further strain on production costs - from transporting and processing to conserving of the fruit, and ultimately drive up export prices.

The DARD forecast earlier this year that Hung Yen longan farms would loose around 40 to 50 percent of their annual crop.

But at present, the total provincial output is approximately 32,000 to 33,000 tonnes, as opposed to 40,000 last year. Farmers and provincial authorities were able to save a large part of the harvest by using chemical and biological stimuli on the majority of longan trees, and the province’s estimated turnover is just 20 to 30 percent behind the normal harvest.

Although the main crop is expected to go up in price, the early longan crop, which makes up about 10 percent of the total harvest in the province, is priced lower than last year.

Despite the usual demand for early crops, the price fluctuates from 45,000 VND to 50,000 VND (2 USD to 2.2 USD) per kilogramme, much lower than the previous years’ price of 70,000 VND to 80,000 VND (3.1 USD to 3.5 USD).

The DARD explained that this is due to yet another late lychee harvest, making the demand for longan drop as consumers are occupied with lychee, instead. - VNA