Bad timing for Vietnamese watermelon

For fresh fruit and vegetable marketing and distribution in Asia
Camellia Aebischer

BY CAMELLIA AEBISCHER

Bad timing for Vietnamese watermelon

China’s watermelon harvest aligned this year with Vietnam's causing prices to plummet to US$0.05/kg

Bad timing for Vietnamese watermelon

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Nearly 5,000 tonnes of watermelon have been left to rot in Vietnam’s Phu Ninh and Binh Son Districts of Quang Ngai.

The two heavyweight watermelon producing regions have had their harvest times align with those in China this year – one of Vietnam’s largest markets.

Vietnam’s government news agency, Vietnam Net reported prices falling as low as $US0.05/kg, a significant dip from the usual $US0.30/kg.

“This year’s crop was a bumper harvest of watermelon. We expected a good income for the crop, but it’s really a heavy loss for me,” said Duong Van Hoa, a farmer in Tam Phuoc Commune of Quang Nam Province’s Phu Ninh District.

Last month Vietnam’s ministry of trade warned about a drop in the market when China’s watermelon harvest kicked off at the same time as Vietnam’s central region.

It’s reported that some farmers have sold watermelon at as little as US$0.02/kg to make a return and avoid cleaning up rotten fruit.

With the low returns, many farmers are struggling to recoup overheads from the bumper season.

Pumpkin and chili have also been affected due to low prices.

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