According to the MARD, as of the end of October, exports of fruit and vegetables were at approximately US$2 billion, up 30% compared to the same period of 2015.
China is still Vietnam’s largest import market for such items, accounting for a market share of over 70%.
MARD Minister Nguyen Xuan Cuong said that the potential for boosting fruit and vegetables exports is relatively large. It is expected that this year Vietnam could export a total value of US$2.5-2.6 billion in fruits and vegetables.
Vietnam’s agro-fishery-forestry exports to China hit US$26.4 billion in the first ten months of 2016, a rise of 6.3% year on year.
In general, exports of these products to China account for about 20% of the sector’s total export value, with the main products including rubber, cassava, cashews, fresh vegetables and seafood.
As for fruits, Hoang Trung, Director of the MARD’s Department of Plant Protection, said that the department has developed additional records for other fruits to push open the door to the Chinese market.
The department has closely worked with the Chinese side to complete relevant procedures to officially put these items on the neighbouring market soon, he noted.
Regarding the US market, though it is the second-largest importer of Vietnamese agricultural products, it is a market with a complex legal system and technical and trade barriers, Trung added.
According to Nguyen Nhu Tiep, Director of MARD’s Department of Agro-Forestry-Fishery Quality Management, Vietnam is seeking to get the US to allow Vietnamese mangoes and star apples onto its market soon.
Most noteworthy is that, while exports of fruit and vegetables have been continuously growing in recent years, rice exports—among Vietnam’s most important agricultural exports—have recorded a significant decline.
During the first ten months of this year, rice exports reached only 4.2 million tonnes at approximately US$1.9 billion, down by over 21% in volume and 16.9% in value compared to the same period of last year. In fact, as early as September of this year, the export turnover for fruits and vegetables exceeded that of rice.
MARD Deputy Minister Tran Thanh Nam gave his assessment that rice exports would continue to face difficulties, which may last until 2017.
The winter-spring crop has started and rice is expected to be harvested by January or February 2017, so it is necessary to seek measures to tackle problems and strengthen trade promotion for rice exports, he affirmed.
Deputy Minister Nam also asked relevant departments of the MARD to send delegations to the Philippines to promote trade promotion to accelerate rice exports to this market.