Vietnamese fruit faces tougher competition in China

Vietnam exported less fruit to China as the northern neighbor increased dragon fruit cultivation and allowed official import of passion fruit from Laos and longan from Cambodia.

Data from Vietnam Customs showed dragon fruit exports to China totaled US$442 million, posting a year-on-year decrease of 4.4%. Specifically, red-fleshed dragon fruit exports fell by 38%.

Currently, China’s dragon fruit output exceeds Vietnam’s, and its selling price is lower than that of the Vietnamese fruit.

Passion fruit exports from Vietnam to China dropped 36.5% to $29.5 million.

Vietnamese fresh passion fruit used to have the leading market share. Recently China has reduced import of the Vietnamese passion fruit because it has grown the fruit, and allowed Laos to export the fruit to the market on official quota since 2022.

The Chinese agricultural product export news site Produce Report cited data from China Customs showing the country annually supplies 600,000 tons of passion fruit to the market.

With longan, Vietnam’s annual output of over half a million tons is oversupplied and continuously sold at cheap prices as China has new suppliers from Cambodia.

Cambodia has exported longan to China on official quota since late 2022. Data from the Cambodian Ministry of Agriculture showed their fresh longan exports to China in the first eight months of the year surpassed 8,100 tons, including 3,250 tons in August alone.

Farmers harvest dragon fruit in the central province of Binh Thuan. Photo by VnExpress/Viet Quoc

Vietnam is the 7th largest coconut producing country in the world, but it has not been allowed to export the fruit to China on official quota.

Cambodia, a country outside the top 10 with only 17,000 hectares of coconut, and an output of 248,000 tons in 2022, has exported fresh coconuts to China on official quota since September.

Vietnam’s avocado, mango, and jackfruit are also at risk of competing with other countries for the Chinese market.

Recently, Venezuela, the 15th biggest avocado producer in the world, was allowed to export the fruit to China on official quota. Meanwhile, Vietnam still has to export avocado to China on unofficial quota at low output values via under the table border trade.

Malaysia has recently been approved jackfruit exports on official quota to China, just like Thailand and Vietnam.

The director of a fruit export business in the Mekong Delta province of Long An predicted to VnExpress that the market share and selling prices of Vietnamese dragon fruit, passion fruit, and longan in China will continue to decrease sharply.

Cambodian coconuts have been exported to China on official quota since September. Photo courtesy of Pixabay

Dang Phuc Nguyen, general secretary of the Vietnam Fruit and Vegetable Association, said Vietnam should re-plan dragon fruit and passion fruit growing areas to control quality and output of the two fruits.

The country should facilitate negotiations with China to have avocado exported on official quota, and export the fruit to other markets such as Japan, South Korea, and the U.S., he said.

Source: Vietnamese fruit faces tougher competition in China – VnExpress International