Fruit prices soar in Mekong DeltaUpdate: 12/1/2013
CUU LONG (MEKONG) DELTA (VNS)— Fruit varieties grown in the Cuu Long (Mekong) Delta are already fetching higher prices, nearly two months ahead of the Tet (lunar new year) holiday, when prices typically undergo a seasonal spike.
Wholesale traders have flocked to orchards to buy up ripening crops of Lai Vung mandarin and Cat Chu mango in Dong Thap Province, green-peeled grapefruit in Ben Tre Province, and Hoa Loc mango in Tien Giang Province.
Luu Van Rang, who owns a 6,000sq.m mandarin orchard in Vinh Thoi Commune, said he and many other farmers had refused to sell because they hoped that prices would rise further before Tet. "The yield in most orchards will not be what has been in recent years," he said.
The Lai Vung Agriculture and Rural Development Bureau expects yields to decline by 40 per cent due to unfavourable weather and flooding this year. The district has around 1,200ha under cultivation with the pink mandarin and output was expected to shrink by 16,000 tonnes, the bureau said.
The output of green-peeled grapefruits in Ben Tre was also expected to decline since an estimated 40 per cent of grapefruit-growing areas in the province have been infested by a worm (Citripestis sagittiferelle Moore) that destroys the fruit, according to orchard owners.