Statistics from the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development showed that Vietnam spent US$659 million importing vegetables and fruit in January-July, up over 50 percent year-on-year.
At Thi Nghe and Ba Chieu Markets in Binh Thanh District, Ho Chi Minh City, a wide variety of imported fruits is on sale to Vietnamese consumers.
Apples from Thailand are sold at VND55,000 (US$2.43) to VND70,000 (US$3) per kilogram, while Thai mangosteens are offered at VND75,000 (US$3.3) a kilogram.
Nguyet Anh, a local resident, said she often purchases apples, pears, kiwi fruit, and grapes sourced from foreign countries, explaining that domestic fruits could contain harmful preservatives.
At Binh Dien Market in District 8, about 220 metric tons of fruit is brought to the venue on a daily basis, most of which are imported products, a manager said, adding that the majority of these fruits are shipped from China and Thailand.
Some 30% of the fruits sold at a wholesale market in Thu Duc District are also imported from other countries.
According to an official of a Vietnamese supermarket chain, many types of fruit offered at their supermarkets come from the Republic of Korea, Thailand, and Australia.
“Despite high cost, the products are still favored by local consumers. Cherry selling at VND500,000 [US$22] per kilo can be out of stock in just a short time” the representative said.