Doan Thi Chai, Deputy Director of Hung Yen provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (DARD), said that due to high temperatures in the winter months of 2016 and the beginning of 2017, the amount of longan blossoms declined in some areas in the province.
Chai also said that since production is expected to go down, the selling price will reach an average of VND35,000 to VND36,000 (US$1.55 to 1.6) per kilogramme.
A majority of supermarkets and big suppliers have signed contracts with farms and cooperatives in Hung Yen Province at US$1.55 per kilogramme of longan.
The decline in longan output may mean trouble for exporters, as the added 31 cents per kilogramme will put further strain on production costs - from transporting and processing to conserving of the fruit, and ultimately drive up export prices.
The DARD forecast earlier this year that Hung Yen longan farms would loose around 40 to 50% of their annual crop.
But at present, the total provincial output is approximately 32,000 to 33,000 tonnes, as opposed to 40,000 last year.
Farmers and provincial authorities were able to save a large part of the harvest by using chemical and biological stimuli on the majority of longan trees, and the province’s estimated turnover is just 20% to 30% behind the normal harvest.
Although the main crop is expected to go up in price, the early longan crop, which makes up about 10% of the total harvest in the province, is priced lower than last year.
Despite the usual demand for early crops, the price fluctuates from VND45,000 to VND50,000 (US$2 to 2.2) per kilogramme, much lower than the previous years’ price of VND70,000 to VND80,000 (US$3.1 to 3.5).
The DARD explained that this is due to yet another late lychee harvest, making the demand for longan drop as consumers are occupied with lychee, instead.