After almost one month’s closure, most fruit processing factories have started operating again since 22 April. Mr. Nguyen Huu Thien is the vice director of Vietnamese banana export company Hand & Hand Co., Ltd. He reviewed the effect of the Covid-19 crisis on his export activity, and shared how he expects the Vietnamese banana market will develop in the next few weeks.
Thien’s business temporarily closed for a few weeks in February because some of the ports between Vietnam and China were closed down. But domestic and foreign distribution is back to normal again since March.
“This season, the overall export of Vietnam bananas to China was reduced by nearly 50% compared with the previous year. This is because Chinese buyers cannot come to the plantations to check the production due to Covid-19.” Thien said, “but because we have fixed sales channels with long-term cooperative partners in China, our export volume remains the same compared with a normal period. We also heard from our Chinese importer that their domestic business was going quite well even in the past few months. There was always a high demand from the market. I think this is because the banana is characteristically a reasonably-priced fruit and can be kept for a relatively long period compared with other types of perishable products.”
“The export price experienced a big fluctuation over the last few months. The price was very low in February, and increased very quick since March. From early May, the price started to decline again. At the moment, the export price is 6.5-7.5 US/13kg box (CNF price to Dalian and Tianjin), which is around 3-4 USD/ 13kg box lower compared with the same period last year. Because the price is not favorable to us at the moment, we export only 2 containers/week to China.”
“After a few months of favorable weather, we experienced a long period of drought since the beginning of May. Many farm fields were irrigated with salty water, which largely affected the products quality of our bananas.”
When talking about what is the expectation of banana export in the next few weeks, Thien said, “I think at the moment the banana price is at the lowest point, it will slowly go up in the following period. However, there will be fewer bananas exported in the next few weeks because other types of seasonal fruits such as melon, cherry, peach and plum will enter the market soon. There will be more fruit varieties for consumers to choose from and therefore the demand for bananas will decline.”
Nguyen Huu Thien
Hand & Hand Co., Limited
Mobile: +84 903 81 66 82, +84 988 374 925