China is the most important export market for Vietnamese fruit. Data from January this year shows that nearly 75% of Vietnamese fruit export is destined for the Chinese fruit market. Watermelons and dragon fruit alone already account for a daily export volume of 6 thousand tons. At that time Vietnam was still hoping to expand its fruit export to China, but only a couple months later their attention was focused completely on solving the issue of unmarketable fruit.
Data from the Ministry of Agriculture shows that the value of Vietnamese export to China in the first 11 months of the year reached 2.08 billion USD. That is a decline of 13.7% in comparison with the same period in the previous year. The export value of coconuts declined by 34.9% and the value of watermelons declined by 24.6%. Apart from these examples, the export values of dragon fruit, durian, and mangosteen all showed a downward trend.
According to the Vietnamese Ministry of Agriculture, the main reason for this decline is China's higher standards for imported fruit. As a result of this, the export volume and export price of Vietnamese fruit decreased.
In May of this year, China announced new standards for fruit imported from Vietnam. The Chinese government requires import fruit to be traceable, and also introduced new regulations for packaging and transport. China approved 9 Vietnamese fruit varieties. Vietnam can export these 9 varieties to the Chinese market, but large volumes of fruit that do not meet the new import standards found the border closed.