Fruits for sale at a fair in Hanoi (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – Vietnam’s fruit and vegetable imports from Australia rose dramatically in the first half of 2016, about 322 percent from a year before, to more than 19.8 million USD.

That contributed to a 9.1-percent yearly increase to 1.1 billion USD in Vietnam’s total imports from Australia during the period, according to the General Department of Vietnam Customs.

The rise was due to Vietnamese firms shifting to material suppliers in Australia, including cotton (up 319.7 percent in import turnover), black coal (up 160.8 percent), ore and minerals (up 88.8 percent), and other metals (41.7 percent).

The Southeast Asian nation exported more than 2.4 billion USD worth of goods to Australia between January and June, down 17 percent against last year.

Its crude oil shipments to this market declined nearly 300 million USD, or 76.5 percent, from the first half of 2015.

In contrast, exports of non-crude oil items jumped 5.4 percent year on year, led by cameras (up 481.6 percent), steel products (145 percent), and garment and footwear materials (91.4 percent).-VNA