|Customers choose fruit at a market in HCM City. The price of most fruit have increased in recent days because of high demand in the hot weather and low output across the country's fruit plantations. — VNA/VNS Photo Phuong Vy
HCM CITY (VNS)— The price of most fruit has increased in recent days because of high demand in the hot weather and low output in the country.
In HCM City, the price of fruit sold at retail markets has increased by 15-30 per cent over the past week.
The price of small-sized king oranges has increased from VND22,000 to VND28,000 per kilo; that of dragon fruit from VND32,000 to VND40,000; water melon from VND12,000 to VND15,000; and yellow-flesh papaya from VND14,000 to VND18,000.
The current hot weather has significantly increased demand for fruit, especially for making juices like orange, lemon, grapefruit and coconut.
"Since it is the off-season for some of these fruit, their prices have risen," a trader at the Thu Duc agriculture produce wholesale market told the Nguoi Lao Dong (the Labourer) newspaper.
She also said there had been a reduction in the quantity of imported fruit like pears, apples and grapes, but did not mention why this had happened.
In the Cuu Long (Mekong) Delta, tender coconuts are now sold at VND60,000-70,000 per dozen, up VND5,000-20,000 compared to prices before Tet, which fell in early February this year.
Coconut output is now low because it is not the fruit's peak season, but market demand is high because of the hot weather, and prices have therefore gone up, according to the Ben Tre Coconut Association. Ben Tre is the leading coconut producer in the country.
In HCM City, fresh coconuts are now sold on the street at VND15,000-16,000 a piece, the highest so far.
Dam Van Hung, owner of the Huong Mien Tay Fruit Shop in Ben Tre, said the prices of grapefruit and oranges sold at orchards in the delta have increased by 30 per cent compared to the Tet period.
First quality green-peel and pink fleshed grapefruit was now selling at the orchards for VND52,000-55,000 a kilo, he said.
In previous years, grapefruit prices increased significantly as Tet neared and declined sharply after the festival.
This year, prices rose after Tet instead of falling, Hung said.
He attributed the price hikes to increased export orders, unfavourable weather and diseases affecting grapefruit output.
Hung said last year he bought about 20-25 tonnes of grapefruit a day, but he could now only buy 10-11 tonnes.
"Many importers have placed orders, but I have not signed contracts because I am afraid that I cannot meet them," he said.
Viet Nam exported $146 million worth of fruit in the first two months of the year, up 43 per cent against the same period last year, according to the Viet Nam Fruit and Vegetable Association. —VNS