In late October, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and the General Administration of Customs of China signed a protocol on quarantine requirements for Vietnamese banana exports to China.
Previously, in July and August, Vietnam’s passion fruit and durian also received a “visa” to enter the Chinese market. Vietnam’s pomelos, after four years of negotiations, officially entered the US market in mid-October.
This value will help achieve the goal of earning $6.5 billion in export revenue from fruits and vegetables by 2030.
Fruits are key export items of Vietnam’s agriculture. A decade ago, export turnover of vegetables and fruit was only $460 million. However, in 2013, they brought yearly export revenue of at least $1 billion.
In 2016, they brought in $2.4 billion and $3.15 billion in 2017. In 2019, the figure jumped to $3.7 billion.
Vegetables and fruits were among the top 3 agricultural exports, behind wood and seafood.
Vegetables and fruit exports were expected to surpass the $4 billion mark in 2020, but due to the pandemic and China adding more technical barriers, the export revenue of vegetables and fruit dropped to $3.25 billion in 2020 and then increased to $3.52 billion in 2021.
In 2022, export revenue of most agricultural products has recovered, but not for vegetables and fruit. By the end of October, the figure was $2.8 billion, down 6.5% over the same period last year.
It is estimated that this group of products will earn $3.2 billion for the year, down by $0.5 billion compared to the milestone of $3.7 billion in 2019.
Experts, businesses and officials have pointed out why Vietnam’s fruit exports have declined in recent years.
They emphasized the mindset of Vietnamese farmers who still raise output rather than quality, and prefer to sell what they have rather than market-favored products. They also prefer to sell fresh products rather than deeply processed ones.
Another reason is that Vietnamese traders and businesses prefer to export these products to China by unofficial channels rather than official channels. When China – Vietnam’s largest customer – raised standards, tightened technical barriers and restricted small-scale imports, Vietnamese fruits faced difficulty.
Experts and officials in the agriculture industry say that consumption trends in the world have changed. Customers not only require delicious and clean food, but also convenient products suitable for busy lives.
According to statistics, exports of fresh fruits and vegetables fell by 21%, while processed fruit products increased by 11% in January-August 2022.