Fruit importers try to penetrate choosy foreign markets


The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) said Vietnam has every reason to hope that it can export more fruits to choosy markets at higher prices this year. 

The ministry believes that the fruit export turnover in 2016 would 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.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 categories 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, exported by Huy Long An, 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 Niiggata.
It is expected that Japan would double the amount of bananas to import from Vietnam and enlarge the distribution network.
Hidekatsu Ishikawa, president of VIENT, the Japanese importer, said Vietnam’s bananas fit the Japanese taste and have competitive prices.
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 fulfill 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.