Sunday , May 19 2024

300,000 tonnes of dragon fruit have no buyers

Around 300,000 tonnes of dragon fruit will soon be ripe for harvest but without buyers as China clamps down on border trade, industry insiders said.

With the northern provinces of Quang Ninh and Lang Son having both restricted trade at the border with China due to containers pilling up, many Chinese buyers have stopped purchasing Vietnamese dragon fruit, Phan Van Tan, deputy director of Binh Thuan’s Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, told a forum Thursday.

Dragon fruit prices have dropped in the last few weeks as China tightened its Covid-19 measures that caused thousands of container trucks to get stuck at the border.

Some exporters said they have tried to transport goods via sea but this is not a sustainable solution as shipping fees have surged three times from before.

China has been the biggest buyer of Vietnamese agriculture produce and dragon fruit for years. Dragon fruit exports to China exceeds that of 50 other markets, said Nguyen Khac Huy, CEO of Hoang Phat Fruit in Long An Province.

China’s proximity to Vietnam explains why exporters prefer to send their fruit there over other destinations like Europe, which could take up to 42 days.

Vietnam produces around 1.4 million tonnes of dragon fruit every year. Eighty percent comes from the three provinces of Binh Thuan, Long An and Tien Giang.

Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Thanh Nam suggested supermarkets nationwide buy the fruit to support farmers.

The ministry will also hold a forum with trade offices in Europe to diversify output, he added.

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