By Ngoc Hung - The Saigon Times Daily
HCMC – Vietnam exported US$136 million worth of fruits in the first two months of the year, or up 22% year-on-year, paving the way for the country to realize the 2014 target at US$1.2 billion, said the fruit association.
Nguyen Van Ky, general secretary of the Vietnam Fruit and Vegetables Association (Vinafruit), said that main export items are fresh fruits such as dragon fruit, grapefruit, and mango as well as some canned and frozen fruits.
Local fruits have found wide path to some choosy markets including the U.S., Japan and Korea, he said.
Home-grown fruits have been mostly shipped to Asian markets. In the year to date, China has been taking the lead in importing fruits from Vietnam, followed by Japan, the U.S., Thailand and Malaysia.
In late 2013, Vietnam and Taiwan finalized procedures for Vietnam’s dragon fruit to enter Taiwan. Within the first quarter of this year, this kind of fruit would be also sold to New Zealand.
The U.S. is also a highly potential market for Vietnam’s fruits. Beside longan and litchi approaching the U.S. market, Vietnam has been discussing exports of mango and star-apples to this market too.
Vinafruit predicts that vegetable and fruit exports can reach U.S$1.2 billion this year owing to the reopening of the EU market.
In 2013, Vietnam’s vegetable and fruit exports brought in US$1.04 billion, or US$200 million higher than the target set by the Ministry of Industry and Trade early that year.