Vietnam sets low fruit export target due to China’s tighter control
Vietnam has set a target to earn US$3.83 billion from fruit exports in 2019, a year-on-year increase of only 0.8%, as China, Vietnam’s largest fruit importer, has tightened its control over the informal export of fruits to its market, heard a seminar in Long An Province.
In his opening remarks at a seminar titled “Promoting the sustainable development of fruit farming in southern localities,” held today, March 15, in the Mekong Delta province of Long An, Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Le Quoc Doanh noted that the country has reported high fruit export growth in recent years.
In 2003, the country generated merely US$151 million from fruit exports. The figure surged to US$1 billion in 2013 and US$3.8 billion last year, Doanh added.
Regarding the low target this year, Tran Van Cong, deputy director of the Department of Farm Produce Processing and Market Development, remarked that Vietnam’s fruits were shipped to 55 markets, with 14 markets reporting export annual revenue of over US$20 million each; five markets, US$10-20 million; and 36 others, US$1-10 million.
This year, the participation in free trade agreements will help Vietnam’s fruits access more markets. In addition, the global market has high demand for fruits, while Vietnam has made up only 1.4%-1.5% of the world’s fruit export turnover, Cong stated.
However, China, which contributes 81% of Vietnam’s fruit export earnings, has issued regulations on traceability and product quality.
Moreover, some other import markets, such as the European Union, have set up more technical barriers on Vietnam’s fruits exported to their markets.
Meanwhile, several domestic fruit enterprises have failed to meet the requirements of some buyers, and have deliberately mixed unqualified products with eligible ones, affecting other enterprises and causing a high risk of losing markets.
Further, the application of the Vietnamese Good Agriculture Practice standards remains modest, Cong said.
Vo Quan Huy, director of Huy Long An Co., Ltd, a fruit firm in Long An Province, told the Saigon Times on the sidelines of the seminar that the target was reasonable given China’s tightened control over fruit imports through informal channels and higher requirements for these products.