|An employee at the Tien Giang Fruit and Vegetables Company in southern Tien Giang Province loads pineapples for processing. The country earned US$136 million from fruit and vegetable exports in the first two months of the year. — VNA/VNS Photo Dinh Hue
HA NOI (VNS) — Vietnamese experts are optimistic about the prospects for this year's fruit and vegetable exports, expecting to rake in US$1.2 billion.
Viet Nam's Fruit and Vegetables Association (Vinafruit) was quoted as saying that fruit and vegetable exports jumped more than 22 per cent as compared to last year and recorded US$136 million in the first two months of this year, according to radio the Voice of Viet Nam.
Vinafruit Secretary General Nguyen Van Ky stated that major importers of Vietnamese fruit and vegetables were China, Japan, the US, and Thailand. Malaysia too is a major importer of Vietnamese fruit and vegetables.
He noted that Viet Nam and Taiwan (China) finalised an agreement in late 2013 under which the latter will import a large amount of Vietnamese dragon fruit. Viet Nam is also due to ship fruits to New Zealand and mangoes to the Republic of Korea in the first quarter of this year.
Longans and lychees are being processed for shipment to the US market, and the two nations are currently negotiating a deal on the export of mangoes and star apples.
According to Vinafruit, last year, Viet Nam exported 1,300 tonnes of dragon fruit and 300 tonnes of rambutan to the US, along with 300 tonnes of dragon fruit to Japan and a similar quantity of the fruit to the Republic of Korea.
Except for dragon fruit, exports of other kinds of fruits, such as pomelos, mangoes, and rambutans, to the US remain modest. Vegetable exports to Europe have resumed, but in small volumes.
Last year, fruit and vegetable exports hit $1.04 billion, nearly $200 million more than the figure recorded in 2012.
China was Viet Nam's biggest importer, accounting for 27.6 per cent of the local market share. It was followed by Japan with 5.59 per cent and the US with 4.7 per cent.
Viet Nam's fruit and vegetables are now available in markets of 40 countries around the world. Best sellers include dragon fruit, grapefruit, and frozen and canned vegetables. — VNS