The most recent data from the China Chamber of Commerce of I/E of Foodstuffs, Native Produce and Animal By-products (CFNA) shows that China imported 6.83 billion tons of fruit during 2019, which is an increase of 24%. The overall value of fruit import reached 9.5 billion USD, which is an increase of 25%. The largest exporter of fruit to China was Vietnam. Chile and the Philippines came second and third respectively.
It is worth noting that the Vietnamese export of fruit and vegetables to China declined by 13.2% last year. However, the surface area suitable for banana plantation in China is limited, which means that China imports a growing volume of bananas from Southeast Asia, and Vietnam also benefits from this development.
Data shows that China imported a total of 1.94 million tons of bananas in 2019, which is an increase of 26% in comparison with 2018. China imported 278 thousand tons of bananas from Vietnam, which is an increase of 105% in one year. China's most important banana supplier, only saw their banana export to China grow by 2%.
Traders in Vietnam point out that recent Vietnamese measures to limit export to China caused small-scale banana traders near the border to suffer financial loss. The banana price already dropped to 2,000 Vietnamese Dong [0.09 USD] per kg. Furthermore, China also temporarily halted business negotiations with regard to Vietnamese durian and sweet potatoes. It is unclear whether Vietnam will obtain permission to export durian and sweet potatoes to the Chinese market. Under these circumstances, it is not entirely clear whether Vietnam will maintain a strong position in the Chinese market.