Dragon Fruit leads Vietnam's fruit exportsUpdate: 8/12/2012
Dragon fruit continues to have the highest value of any Vietnamese fruit export, according to industry officials.
Luong Ngoc Trung Lap, head of the Southern Fruit Institute's market research department, said dragon fruit in recent years has achieved the highest export growth among all fruits cultivated in the country. Last year, the country gained 107 million USD from the export of dragon fruit, accounting for 45 percent of the total fruit export value.
For the first 10 months of this year, dragon fruit export reached 226 tonnes, up 78 percent in volume against the same period last year, and valued at 128 million USD, an increase of 94 percent in value.
During this period, export of dragon fruit to China grew 107 percent in volume and 176 percent in value, according to a report in Thoi Bao Kinh Te Viet Nam (Vietnam Economic Times) newspaper. Dragon fruit export to other markets, including the Republic of Korea , Japan , Canada and Thailand , has also risen in both volume and value.
Tran Huu Danh, Director of the Long Viet Company, which specialises in exporting dragon fruit, said the volume of export to several markets was expected to increase even further.
In 2008, dragon fruit was the first Vietnamese fruit allowed to be exported to the US , with the condition that the fruit be radiated prior to shipping. Beginning in August, the fruit was allowed to be shipped to the US and radiated there before delivery to supermarkets. It was the first Vietnamese fruit export permitted to do so. Earlier this year, the US Patent and Trademark Office granted a trademark for dragon fruit grown in Binh Thuan central province.
Binh Thuan, the country's largest dragon fruit producer, has 16,000ha devoted to the fruit, with an annual output of 400,000 tonnes. Vietnamese-grown dragon fruit is exported to more than 30 countries and territories. Along with increased exports of fresh dragon fruit, the GAP Agriculture Joint Stock Company has begun to export dried dragon fruit to the US .
The drying technology helps maintain the flavour better than other available drying technologies, according to the company. The fruit is sliced, frozen and vacuumed-packed before export. The company also plans to export dried dragon fruit to the EU and Australia in the near future.