It is estimated that USD1bn will be spent to import fruits and vegetables from Thailand and China this year, according to the General Department of Vietnam Customs
Despite being an agriculture country, Vietnam is spending a huge amount of money on importing fruits and vegetables to meet local demand.
Statistics from the General Department of Customs showed that for the first nine months, Vietnam imported USD650m worth of fruits and vegetables, a 42% increase compared to the same period last year. It is predicted that USD1bn would be spent on fruits by the end of the year.
Thai fruits and vegetables are becoming Vietnamese favourites as USD289m had been spent on products from this country alone. Thailand was followed by China and Cambodia at USD150m.
Demand for imported products is on the rise even for products produced domestically. Local firms are facing tough competition on quality, quantity and brand recognition.
Vietnam’s fruit and vegetable exports depend greatly on China.
As of September, the export turn-over of fruit was second only behind aqua-products and higher than rice. Vietnam earned USD1.68bn from fruit exports by September 15, an increase of 31% compared to same period last year, of which USD1.3bn was exported to China.
Turnover from South Korea reached USD65m and followed by the turnover to the US and Japan with USD60m and USD56m.
Rice, Vietnam’s key agriculture commodity, is facing stiff competition. Exports to Philippines as of September reached 337,800 tonnes, worth USD143m, significantly lower than last year’s USD275m.
The World Bank has warned that Vietnam should change its agricultural techniques to ensure higher quality products and sustainable development.
Photo: CBR Investment AG