Fruit exports to China increase sharply
As one of the main markets for Vietnamese fruit and vegetables, the recovery of exports to China will contribute to boosting Vietnam's fruit and vegetable industry in 2023.
According to Lao Cai Border Gate Customs Branch, from January 1 to 23 (the second day of the Lunar New Year), Vietnam exported more than 37,000 tonnes of fruit to China, with a turnover of more than $45 million.
In 2022, China's zero-COVID policy significantly affected the sales of fruit and vegetable products in Vietnam. Throughout last year, the export of fruit and vegetables to China reached $1.5 billion, down 19.8 per cent on-year. However, at the end of 2022, the Chinese government began loosening its coronavirus restrictions, allowing Vietnam’s exports to increase.
In the second half of 2022, Vietnam and China signed deals to export durian, banana, sweet potato, and bird's nests to the Chinese market. This opens up new opportunities for products to penetrate a market with more than 1.4 billion people.
After one month of durian being exported to China, in October, exports reached nearly $50 million, an increase of more than 4,000 per cent compared to the same period in 2021.
Dang Phuc Nguyen, general secretary of the Vietnam Fruit and Vegetable Association, said that currently, Vietnam's main fruit export product to China is dragon fruit. Durian is now forecast to set a new record.
Along with that, in 2022, China – which spends about $4 billion on importing durian annually – implemented more planting area and packing facility codes that match the requirements of the protocol to certify the export of durian products. It is expected to help Vietnam’s durian production and packaging to become increasingly professional, meeting the high standards in many other fastidious markets.
Seizing the opportunity from this high-value export product, in November 2022, Vina T&T JSC (Vietnam) and the Sunwah Group (Hong Kong) signed a strategic cooperation agreement for the export of Vietnamese durian.
The two sides aim that, by 2023, the output of fresh durian exports will reach 4,500 containers, equaling 90,000 tonnes. They will work together to build a durian growing area to meet the import requirements of the local market.
Nguyen Dinh Tung, chairman of Vina T&T, said that Sunwah Group is not only strong in the import and export of agricultural products but also has retail distribution channels in China, which is a premise to build the Vietnamese durian brand.
Experts and businesses believe that 2023 will see strong growth in the export of fruit and vegetables as a result of China easing quarantine and infectious disease management measures for imported goods.