Exports of coconuts and coconut products are expected to top 80 million USD this year, accounting for nearly a fifth of the country's total fruit exports, the Vietnam Fruit and Vegetables Association has said.

In the first seven months, exports were worth 55.5 million USD, a 213 percent rise year-on-year.

Vietnam's major coconut product exports are copra and canned coconut milk.

In the January-July period, China, Thailand, Egypt, Germany and the Netherlands were the largest buyers, with China alone accounting for 31 million USD, a 192 percent rise. Vietnam exports mostly copra and fresh coconuts to China.

Shipments of canned coconut milk and fresh coconuts increased significantly this year, with 17 countries buying them, compared to just three last year.

Exports of canned coconut milk were worth 5.6 million USD.

Fresh coconut exports have increased sharply this year because the country has adopted a preservation method that keeps fresh coconuts for up to six weeks.

Vietnam harvests 720 million coconuts a year, mostly in the Cuu Long (Mekong) Delta and central coastal provinces.

Ben Tre province in the Mekong Delta is the largest producer./.