Lang Son’s anise export volume reached about 1,300 tonnes in the first nine months of 2014, the Vietnam Economic News reported.

According to the provincial Department of Industry and Trade, the export volume by the year’s end is expected to reach more than 2,000 tonnes, up about 700 tonnes compared with 2013.

Vietnam has become one of the world’s two biggest star anise producers. Anise trees are mainly grown in the northern provinces of Quang Ninh, Cao Bang and Bac Can but the most famous region for growing this tree is Lang Son.

Anise tree has long been a strategic product for Lang Son and the province’s star anise products built its own brand name as it registered geographical indication in 2007.

Anise has been used as a spice and medicine for thousands of years in Vietnam and China. The anise fruit and attar are also attractive for food processing (aperitif alcohol, soft drinks and confectionaries).

Its attractive taste has good effects for digestion and boosts appetite. In traditional medicine in Vietnam as well as in China, Japan and India, the anise is also used to cure stomachache, relieve pain and reduce heartburn, vomiting, arthritis, back pain, food poisoning and snake bites.

According to statistics, in 2011 Lang Son only exported over 500 tonnes of dried star anise. The export volumes increased to 1,100 and 1,500 tonnes in 2012 and 2013 respectively and expected to reach about 2,000 tonnes this year. This is a good sign for anise growers in Lang Son.

Not only increasing in volume, this year’s anise export prices also increased sharply compared to previous years. In 2012, dried anise export prices reached only 20,000 VND per kg, in 2013 it ranged from 40,000-48,000 VND per kg and topped 60,000 VND per kg in 2014. It is notable that the products are not only increasing in volume and prices but there are more countries taking interest in importing Lang Son’s products.

Several years ago, anise export was mainly through informal channels to China, but now, a large amount of dried anise is exported through customs procedures to India, Malaysia and Indonesia.

There are about 33,000ha of star anise production areas in Lang Son, of which 10,000 ha are in harvest time. The annual output of the local anise is from 6,000 to 7,000 tonnes.-VNA