Fruits and vegetables from China and India have been flowing into Vietnam thanks to better prices and quality.
Vietnam spent US$2.1 billion importing vegetables and fruits in the first 11 months of this year, up 35.2% year-on-year, the highest ratio in three years, according to a report by the Vietnam Fruit and Vegetable Association.
Of Vietnam’s 10 import markets, China led the surge with an 83% increase, followed by India (67%), South Africa (54%) and Cambodia (33%).
Imports from China reached $765 million to make it the biggest fruit and vegetable exporter to Vietnam, accounting for nearly 41% of the market.
A survey by VnExpress showed that price tags are cheap in Ho Chi Minh City – traditionally imported produce’s best Vietnamese market – for fruits and vegetables from China, India, and Cambodia.
China’s high-quality red grapes with seeds are selling in the southern hub for VND80,000-100,000 ($3.39-4.24) per kg, a price equivalent to their Vietnamese counterparts. Chinese peony grapes are on sale in HCMC for VND170,000-200,000 per kg, which is only a tenth of the cost for similar products from Japan.
Indian red pomegranates cost only VND60,000-70,000 per kilogram, a third of those from the U.S. and Taiwan.
Other produce imported from India and South Africa are also relatively affordable.
Nguyen Hoang Hai, who specializes in selling imported fruits in HCMC’s District 12, said he was receiving more produce at better prices than he had in years.
In particular, Australian oranges, South African apples, and Cambodian mangoes are very popular and sell for less than VND50,000 per kilogram, according to Hai.
He said the low prices help him sell several hundred boxes of imported fruit every day to both wholesalers and retail customers.
A representative from the Thu Duc Agricultural Wholesale Market said HCMC was saturated with imported fruit.
In one of the southern region’s busiest wholesale markets, the sale of attractively-priced fruit imported from Australia, India, Thailand and Cambodia had increased by double digits over the last quarter of 2022 compared to the same period last year.
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