Data from Vietnam customs has indicated the value of the country’s fruit exports to China has dropped by 25 per cent year-on-year, during the first eight-months of 2020.
It’s believed the change in quality and origin standards made by China has played a significant role in the decline in value. The coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic has also impacted the value of Vietnamese fruit exports.
According to a report published by VN Express, demand for high-quality fruits is rising in China, and Xu Zhi of the Long Wu fruit and vegetable wholesale market in Shanghai said his market has been imposing higher requirements for imported fruits to meet the demand.
Vietnamese exporters and authorities have identified increasing compliance with international standards as one of the key factors in growing the value of the country’s fresh produce exports.
News the country’s fresh fruit export value remains deflated follows reports in the first quarter of 2020 which indicated the value of Vietnam’s exports to China had fallen by 29.4 per cent. In April, this was due to freight complications caused by the pandemic.
Yuan Ya Xiang, general secretary of the Shanghai Fruit Business Association, said there had been occasions when importers found fruits from Vietnam containing harmful bacteria.
Dang Phuc Nguyen, general secretary of the Vietnam Fruit and Vegetables Association, said exporters need to have at least 10 hectares of orchards meeting VietGAP (Vietnamese good agriculture practices) standards to be able to export to China without concerns about quality.
But many businesses operate on a small scale and have poor packaging practices, he added.
Vietnam exports dragon fruit, watermelon, lychee, longan, banana, mango, jackfruit, rambutan, and mangosteen to China, which remains the country’s largest export market, accounting for 27.8 per cent of all agricultural exports, valued at approximately US$8.5bn in 2019.