According to the Vietnam Customs’ figure, Vietnam spent US$1.5 billion importing fruits and vegetables mostly fruits in ten months of the year.

Averagely, every month, the country spend $150 million buying fruits. There has seen an increase of 50 percent – 70 percent in Australia and the US fruits resulting in cheaper prices of foreign fruits.

In Ho Chi Minh City market alone, 800 tons of cherry has been sold in seven months of the year; of which, 349 tons was from the US and 250 tons from Australia.

Similarly, 350 tons of US blueberry was available in Vietnam’s market from July to September. The more the country has imported, the cheaper prices of blueberry has been.

This year, fresh blueberry has fetched VND600,000 per kilogram ($25.9/kg) meanwhile it had been over VND1 million a kilogram before. US cherry has been sold at VND350,000 a kilogram while it had been VND500,000 per kilogram last year.
Additionally, prices of other fruits such as kiwi from New Zealand, apple, and grape from the US, Australian yellow mandarin have gone down. It is forecast that foreign fruit will go down more after the commercial agreements take effect.

Large supermarkets also directly imported fruits besides importers this year. A representative from Big C supermarket said that prices of fruits have been lower thanks to direct import in a short time.

Vietnam is a potential market to welcome arrivals of foreign investors who wanted to promote foreign fruits. The US Blueberry Association in Vietnam has organized promotion program in its 104 stores in 35 cities and provinces in the country.

With the help of Taste Australia for year, the number and variety of Australian cherries entering Vietnam have increased yearly.

For instance, in five first months of the year, 598 tons of Australian cherry entered the Southeast Asian country, a year on year increase of 53 percent and 4,694 tons of Australian. Vietnam is currently the fourth-largest importer of Australian table grapes.

Foreign fruits draw Vietnamese customers’ attention thanks to their strange taste and safety. However, preservation of foreign fruits is a matter.

Deputy Head of the Plant Protection Department Le Van Thiet said supermarkets and sellers in wholesale market can produce receipts and keep fruits at good temperature; however, fake fruits are sold in traditional markets or in flee market.

For example, a seller in traditional market announces the grape is from Australia but in fact, the fruit is from China.

Worrying, exports of Vietnamese fruits are going down while Vietnamese consumers favor foreign ones. SGGP

Anh Quan

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