According to trade insiders, Vietnam’s fruit exports to China are dropping off, after the latter made quality and labels of origin standards more stringent.
Although demand for high-quality fruits is rising in China, its government has raised the bar for packaging and labels of origin, said Xu Zhi of the Long Wu fruit and vegetable wholesale market in Shanghai at an online conference on Thursday. The conference was attended by executives from 40 Vietnamese and Chinese companies.
These higher standards and the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on border trade resulted in Vietnam’s fruits and vegetables exports to China falling by over 25 percent year-on-year in the first eight months of this year to $1.31 billion.
Quality is an issue for Vietnamese produce. 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. Besides, despite Vietnam’s range of fruits and proximity to China, its fruits are less competitive than those from other markets due to high labor and transport costs, he said.
Vietnam needs to improve quality control and lower costs to be more competitive in exporting to China, he added. Industry insiders too admitted major improvements were needed to scale and quality for Vietnamese fruit exports to become more competitive.