Illustrative image (Source: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – Vietnam imported around 451 million USD worth of fruit and vegetable in the first four months of this year, with 107 million USD spent in April alone.

The four-month figure represented a 43 percent increase from the same period last year.

Meanwhile, export of fruit and vegetable in the January-April period earned Vietnam over 1.32 billion USD, up 29.5 percent year on year. In breakdown, fruit shipments brought home 1.05 billion USD and vegetables, 159 million USD.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) said the prices of some types of fruit, including mango, grape fruit and orange, in the Mekong Delta went down in April due to abundant supply as it was harvest time.

The ministry forecasts a bumper harvest for litchi and longan this summer in northern provinces. It held a conference in April to prepare for the sale promotion for the two kinds of fruit.

The northern provinces of Bac Giang, Hung Yen, Hai Duong and Son La have proposed boosting exports of litchi and longan to foreign markets, including China.

Per the request, the MARD, Ministry of Industry and Trade and Ministry of Foreign Affairs will arrange talks with their Chinese counterparts to promote Vietnamese fruits’ entrance into the country, via negotiation, plant quarantine agreements and removing technical barriers.

At the same time, Nguyen Hong Son, head of the MARD’s Crop Production Department, said domestic litchi and longan consumption accounts for about 50 percent of output, albeit this number is on the rise, mainly in urban areas.

 Therefore, it is necessary to focus on these markets, by connecting producers with chain distributors and wholesale markets, while keeping current importers satisfied, such as China, the US, Japan and Australia, he said.

According to Son, his department has also been negotiating for higher fruit exports quota to Japan and the Republic of Korea, as many Japanese and Korean companies are keen on importing these fruits.

Meanwhile, Nguyen Thi Thu Ha, Vice Chairwoman of Bac Giang provincial People’s Committee, said her province estimates 2018’s output of litchi at 150,000 to 180,000 tonnes, nearly double last year’s number.

Such abundant yields, coupled with short harvesting time, storage and transportation difficulties, have pressured the province to find an appropriate consumption market.-VNA