Fruit and vegetable exports down over 12 percent in first seven months hinh anh 1Workers process fresh lychee for export at a factory of the Vifoco Export-Import JSC in Bac Giang province (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) - Vietnam earned nearly 2 billion USD from fruit and vegetable exports in the first seven months of this year, down 12.3 percent year-on-year, according to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD).

The ministry attributed the decline to falls in the shipments of certain commodities, including dragon fruit, which made up the largest part of total exports at 34 percent, down 6 percent; bananas 9.5 percent; durian 71 percent; and watermelon 38.5 percent.

China was the leading buyer of Vietnamese fruit and vegetables in the period, accounting for 59 percent, but exports to the market fell by some 29 percent. Shipments to Singapore also dropped, by nearly 1 percent.

Vietnam recorded higher fruit and vegetable exports to most of the remaining markets, including the Republic of Korea (up 25.5 percent), Thailand (234 percent), the US (10 percent), and Japan (13 percent).

Between January and July, the country imported 708 million USD worth of fruit and vegetables, down 37.7 percent from a year earlier.

The US, China, and Australia were the largest sources./.