Vietnam’s fruit, vegetable exports up 33.4 percent in Q1 hinh anh 1Vietnamese dragon fruits are sold at a fruit wholesale market in Sydey, Australia. (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – Vietnam gained 934 million USD from fruit and vegetable exports in the first quarter of 2018, up 33.4 percent from the same period last year with China, Japan and the United States remaining top importers.

According to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD), the country exported 284 million USD worth of fruits and vegetables in March while its imports amounted to 92 million USD.

The imports of fruits and vegetable in January-March saw a year-on-year surge of 47.7 percent, which mostly came from Thailand and China.

Farmers in the Central Highlands province of Lam Dong and northern provinces suffered a severe crisis as retail prices of vegetables plunged during March. The hardest-hit were radish and kohlrabi, whose price went down to only 1,000 – 1,200 VND per kg due to oversupply.

Onion was fetched at 3,000 VND per kg, a 4-fold decrease from the pre-Tet (Vietnam Lunar New Year) holiday time, while prices of carrot and cabbage dropped from 25,900 VND and 11,500 VND per kg to 20,900 VND and 9,500 per kg, respectively.

In 2018, the sector will focus on developing processing facilities for agricultural, forestry and seafood products, particularly vegetables, pork and chicken, serving both domestic and overseas markets, said Tran Van Cong, deputy head of the MARD's Agro Processing and Market Development Authority.

The country’s fruit and vegetable exports reached a record 3.5 billion USD for year-on-year growth of 43.02 percent last year.

The top 10 markets were China (75.6 percent), Japan (3.64 percent), the United States (2.94 percent), the Republic of Korea (2.59 percent), the Netherlands (1.81 percent), Malaysia (1.43 percent), Taiwan (1.33 percent), Thailand (1.03 percent), the United Arab Emirates (1.01 per cent) and Russia (0.85 percent). Other markets accounted for 7.77 percent.

In addition to the traditional markets, Vietnamese fruits also managed to enter tough markets like the United States, the European Union, Japan, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.-VNA