Vietnam's Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) is optimistic that the country will be able to export more fruits to choosy markets at higher prices this year. The ministry believes that the fruit export turnover in 2016 will reach over $2 billion, higher than the $1.8 billion last year.
China is the biggest consumer of Vietnamese fruits. However, MARD decided that it is necessary to diversify export markets rather than rely on a single market and to conquer choosy markets which promise higher export value.
The US Secretary of Agriculture Thomas Vilsack, during his visit to Vietnam last April, said that Vietnamese farm produce, such as mango, have big opportunities in the US market. After obtaining a passport to choosy markets like the US for some types of fruits, Vietnam is now targeting the EU, Canada, ASEAN, Eastern Europe, the Middle East and South America.
The US now imports litchis, pineapple and mango from Vietnam. Farm produce imports from Vietnam now bear the import tariff of 5 percent on average. Once the TPP Agreement takes effect, more than 90 percent of ategories of tax will be removed, which will help Vietnamese farm produce in the US.
Vietnam’s bananas have conquered the Japanese market. Since April 30, Vietnam banana exports have been available at Don Kihote, a retail chain in Japan. This is the first official presence of Vietnamese bananas in the difficult-to-please market. The first consignment of 15 tons of bananas will be retailed at 10 supermarkets of the retail chain in Tokyo and neighboring localities, including Saitama and Chiba.
Vietnam’s bananas have also been retailed by Challenger in Niigata.
It is expected that Japan would double the amount of bananas it imports from Vietnam and enlarge the distribution network.
MARD said since 2014, China, Singapore, South Korea and some East European countries have unexpectedly begun increasing the banana imports from Vietnam.
This explains why banana prices in Vietnam have increased by 20 percent, but exporters still find it hard to collect enough bananas to fulfil export contracts.
Chinese businesses collect 20-30 tons of bananas a day in Vietnam, while Japan is reported to need 15-20 tons a day
PBGEA, the Filipino association of banana exporters, has predicted that Vietnam is threatening the Philippines’ position as the second-largest banana exporter in the world.
In the latest news, the Australian Embassy in late April announced that the Australian government has begun the process to import Vietnam’s fresh dragon fruit.