Vietnamese experts are sanguine about the prospects for this year’s fruit and vegetable exports, expecting to rake in US$1.2 billion.
Vietnam's Fruit and Vegetables Association (Vinafruit) reports fruit and vegetable exports jumped more than 22% against a year earlier to US$136 million in the first two months of this year.
Vinafruit Secretary General Nguyen Van Ky said five major importers of Vietnamese fruit and vegetables were China, Japan, the US, Thailand and Malaysia.
He said Vietnam and Taiwan finalized an agreement in late 2013 under which the latter will consume a large amount of Vietnamese dragon fruit.
Vietnam is also due to ship fruit to New Zealand and mangos to the Republic of Korea in the first quarter of this year.
Longan and lichees are being processed for shipment into the US market and the two nations are currently negotiating on mango exports and star apples.
All of these products were initially slated for export to the US in late 2011, but due to strict complicated regulations the agreements have just recently been completed.
Vinafruit reports last year Vietnam exported 1,300 tonnes of dragon fruit and 300 tonnes of rambutan to the US, along with 300 tonnes of dragon fruit to Japan and a similar amount of the fruit to the Republic of Korea.
Except for dragon fruit, exports of other kinds of fruit, such as pomelos, mangos, and rambutan to the US, remain modest. Vegetable exports to Europe have resumed but in a small volume.
Last year, fruit and vegetable exports hit US$1.04 billion, nearly US$200 million more than the figure in 2012.