Vietnam imported US$562.1 million of vegetables and fruits in the first four months of 2022, up 23.1 percent. At the same time, domestic produce was being sold off with no buyers. China remained Vietnam’s largest source, accounting for 34.9 percent of the total imports, followed by the U.S. (19.1 percent) and Australia (9.3 percent), according to a report by Agrotrade Vietnam.
The prices of imports are usually higher than local produce, sometimes costing even twice as much. While mango from the Mekong Delta is sold for VND20,000 (90 U.S. cents) a kilogram, Thai imports cost VND30,000.
Chinese fruits are increasingly popular in the low-end segment due to their competitive pricing and greater uniformity than local produce. Prices of imports from the U.S., New Zealand, and South Korea have fallen by 10-30 percent from last year. Considered high-end, they are even more in demand with the price drop.
Meanwhile, farmers in the Mekong Delta are offering their fruits at a few thousand dong a kilogram but are unable to sell them as China’s zero-Covid policy makes it hard to export.
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