Dragon fruits (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA)
– The Republic of Korea is now the fourth biggest importer of Vietnamese fruits and vegetables.

Statistics from the Korea International Trade Association showed that the RoK imported 264,500 tonnes of fruits and vegetables worth 543.2 million USD in the first three months of this year.

The figures represented a year-on-year increase of 3.6 percent in value, but down 3.6 percent in volume.

The RoK increased imports of these products from some markets like Peru, China and Vietnam. However, imports from Vietnam made up a mere 1.7 percent of the RoK’s total import turnover.

Therefore, there is still a large room for Vietnamese businesses to promote fruit-vegetable exports to the Northeast Asian country in the coming time.

Notably, the RoK imported over 70 percent of food and agricultural products. The demand for fruits and vegetables is increasing.

According to the Business Monitor International (BMI) research firm, Korean consumers are increasingly favouring fresh fruits and vegetables.

The expenditures for fresh fruits and vegetables accounted for 12.2 percent and 12.4 percent of the total food consumption in 2012, respectively, which are expected to increase to 19.1 percent and 18.4 percent by 2022.

Vietnam earned 1.62 billion USD from exporting fruits and vegetables in the first five months of 2018, a year-on-year rise of 16.54 percent.

In May alone, the country grossed 303.1 million USD from selling fruits and vegetables abroad, up 10 percent against the same month last year, according to Vietnam Customs.

Fruit-vegetable export turnover was the second biggest earner in the agricultural sector, after aquatic products.

Vietnamese fruits and vegetables have been sold across 60 countries and territories, including four main markets namely China, the US, Japan and the Republic of Korea.

In January-April, fruit-vegetable exports to most markets registered growth with China importing nearly 989 million USD worth of products, a year-on-year increase of 30.3 percent and 75 percent of fruit-vegetable export turnover.

The US came second with 39 million USD (up 12.3 percent), followed by Japan at 36.55 million USD (up 15.9 percent) and the Republic of Korea 34.78 million USD (up 13.28 percent).

With the positive outcomes from 2017 and the first quarter of 2018, Vietnam is expected to gross 10 billion USD from exporting fruits and vegetables in the near future.

The country earned a record 3.45 billion USD from fruit and vegetable exports in 2017, a year-on-year rise of 40.5 percent, much higher than traditional staples like rice, crude oil and coffee.-VNA