Irradiated Vietnamese dragon fruit exports could resume to the US within the next three days now that a temporary suspension has been lifted.
Vietnam’s dragon fruit shippers are poised to restart trade with the US as soon as they receive import orders, which could be as soon as Wednesday, export manager William The Lam of Bao Thanh Co Ltd told Fruitnet.
Vietnamese dragon fruit exports to the US stopped last December when Vietnam’s only irradiation facility Son Son broke down. The plant has since been fixed, and according to xinhuanet.com, irradiation services have already resumed.
“This good news for Vietnamese dragon fruit exporters,” Mr Lam told Fruitnet. “The US holds great potential for Vietnamese dragon fruit exporters. Israel is only present there for three months of the year, and Thailand for six months. Vietnam can supply dragon fruit year-round and in large volumes, suitable for supermarkets.”
However, he said Vietnam needed to establish a specific export organisation dedicated to US trade to oversee quality, policies and prices in order to fully develop the market.
“It is very expensive to export to the US – it costs US$1 per kg to irradiate the fruit,” Mr Lam told Fruitnet. “And quality on arrival in the US after irradiation, 24 days’ transit and 10 days for distribution is uncertain.”
Vietnam exported 105 tonnes of dragon fruit to the US between July and December last year, according to xinhuanet.com.
Vietnam will have a new irradiation facilitiy in Binh Duong Province in May, Mr Lam said.