Statistics from the Korea International Trade Association showed that the RoK imported 264,500 tonnes of fruits and vegetables worth US$543.2 million in the first three months of this year.
The figures represented a year-on-year increase of 3.6% in value, but down 3.6% in volume.
The RoK increased imports of these products from some markets like Peru, China and Vietnam. However, imports from Vietnam made up a mere 1.7% of the RoK’s total import turnover.
Therefore, there is still a large room for Vietnamese businesses to promote fruit-vegetable exports to the Northeast Asian country in the coming time.
Notably, the RoK imported over 70% of food and agricultural products. The demand for fruits and vegetables is increasing.
According to the Business Monitor International (BMI) research firm, Korean consumers are increasingly favouring fresh fruits and vegetables.
The expenditures for fresh fruits and vegetables accounted for 12.2% and 12.4% of the total food consumption in 2012, respectively, which are expected to increase to 19.1% and 18.4% by 2022.
Vietnam earned US$1.62 billion from exporting fruits and vegetables in the first five months of 2018, a year-on-year rise of 16.54%.
In May alone, the country grossed US$303.1 million from selling fruits and vegetables abroad, up 10% against the same month last year, according to Vietnam Customs.
Fruit-vegetable export turnover was the second biggest earner in the agricultural sector, after aquatic products.
Vietnamese fruits and vegetables have been sold across 60 countries and territories, including four main markets namely China, the US, Japan and the Republic of Korea.
In January-April, fruit-vegetable exports to most markets registered growth with China importing nearly US$989 million worth of products, a year-on-year increase of 30.3% and 75% of fruit-vegetable export turnover.
The US came second with US$39 million (up 12.3%), followed by Japan at US$36.55 million (up 15.9%) and the Republic of Korea US$34.78 million (up 13.28%).
With the positive outcomes from 2017 and the first quarter of 2018, Vietnam is expected to gross US$10 billion from exporting fruits and vegetables in the near future.
The country earned a record US$3.45 billion from fruit and vegetable exports in 2017, a year-on-year rise of 40.5%, much higher than traditional staples like rice, crude oil and coffee.