Vietnam fruit appeals overseas markets

As a tropical country, Vietnam has year-round orchards, which is an advantage for fruit exports that few countries have, the Communist Party of Vietnam Online Newspaper reported.
As a tropical country, Vietnam has year-round orchards, which is an advantage for fruit exports that few countries have, the Communist Party of Vietnam Online Newspaper reported.

Recently, a good sign from the US market is that the country will import the additional two fruits of litchi and longan from Vietnam. Vietnam also has plans to export fruits such as star apple, dragon fruit, rambutan, litchi and mango to demanding markets like the US, Japan, Australia, New Zealand and Taiwan.

According to Nguyen Xuan Hong, Head of the Department of Plant Protection under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Vietnam has many advantages for exporting fruit compared to many other countries. Vietnam’s delicious fruits include dragon fruit; mango, litchi and many countries want to import fruits from Vietnam.

Nguyen Xuan Hong added that besides dragon fruit and rambutan, US’s import of Vietnamese litchi and longan is a move to help open up opportunities for Vietnam’s fruits to further penetrate the US market as well as other demanding markets. At the same time, it creates an opportunity for horticulture exporters to gradually decrease dependence on the Chinese market and ensure sustainable growth.

However, he also warned that to export fruits to the demanding markets such as the EU, Japan and the US, it requires to meet their standards on food safety, use measures such as irradiation and hot steam treatment. Major producers have to have traceability systems such as a code system for planting, storage, treatment, packaging and distribution facilities.

Since 2008, dragon fruit has been exported to the US market and the export output to the market has increased from 100 tonnes in 2008 to 1,000 tonnes in first six months of 2014.

Despite strong competition with Thailand and Mexico, the advantage of Vietnam’s rambutan is that it can be produced all the time, providing the country with a stable output.

When penetrating new markets, a problem arising is how to meet the import requirements of purchasing countries. At present, Vietnam’s most difficult thing is small and scattered production scale. Post-harvest storage technology is the weakest element in the value chain of commodity production. Litchi is an example. If there is no storage process to ensure required quality, it will be difficult to penetrate the US market.

According to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, in nine months, the vegetable and fruit export reached 1.1 billion USD, up 39 percent compared to the same period in 2013.

Of the 10 vegetable and fruit export markets of Vietnam, China is still the largest market, accounting for 28.6 percent of market share, closely followed by Japan, the Republic of Korea and the US but with a very small market share 4.74 percent, 3.76 percent and 3.44 percent respectively.

It is expected that at the end of 2014 or 2015, Vietnam will continue to export star apple and mango to the US; red dragon fruit and mango to Japan; dragon fruit to Taiwan (China); rambutan to New Zealand; dragon fruit, litchi and mango to Australia.

With practical support of the state and international organisations as well as appropriate investment in cultivation, production development, Vietnam’s fresh fruit export revenue to the EU, the US and other demanding markets in particular and the world market in general will increase in coming years, making Vietnam become a fruit export centre of the Asian region, said the Communist Party of Vietnam Online Newspaper.-VNA

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