Fruit and vegetable exports have grown significantly since the beginning of the year, and it is forecast that it is possible to reach the target of USD 4 billion for the whole year and even set a new record. Besides, the room for this industry in the world's largest markets is still very large.

Exporting vegetables and fruits mainly to Asia

According to the Ministry of Industry and Trade, export turnover of vegetables and fruits in the past 7 months increased by 68.1% over the same period last year, estimated at 3.23 billion USD.

Regarding the export market, the Import-Export Department (Ministry of Industry and Trade) said that Vietnam's fruit and vegetable products are mainly exported to Asia in the first half of 2023, the proportion of exports to this region accounts for 84.9% of the total export value of fruits and vegetables.

However, in the structure of the global fruit and vegetable import market, the EU is the largest import market, followed by the United States, China, the United Kingdom, and Canada. In which, most of the major markets increased the import value of fruit and vegetables, except for the UK and Canada.

The EU is the world's largest fruit and vegetable import market, but Vietnam's market share in this market is still very low. According to the Import-Export Department, the proportion of imports from Vietnam only accounts for 0.18% of the total import value of the EU. Meanwhile, EU consumer demand is spread throughout the year and depends largely on imports from outside.

For the US market, according to statistics from the US International Trade Commission, the import value of US fruits and vegetables in the first five months of 2023 reached USD 24.1 billion, up 3.1% over the same period in 2022. In which, the proportion of imports from Vietnam tends to decrease, accounting for 0.6% of total imports, down 0.12 percentage points compared to the same period in 2022. With the demand for imported goods vegetables and fruits of over 46 billion USD/year, the United States is a potential market for fruit and vegetable exporting countries, including Vietnam.

However, the exploitation of this market has not been as expected, because the geographical distance between Vietnam and the United States is too far, if fresh fruit is brought into the United States, the issue of long-term preservation technology must be prioritized. Vietnam's fruit exports to the United States are currently aimed at Asian consumers, in which the Vietnamese community in the United States is the main. This is one reason why not many Vietnamese fruits enter the United States.

With China, the third largest fruit and vegetable import market in the world, according to statistics from the Chinese Customs, in the first 6 months of 2023, China's fruit and vegetable imports reached 13.7 billion USD, up 6.8% over the same period in 2022.

With the advantage of a close geographical location to China, transporting Vietnam's fresh fruits and vegetables to this market has a lower cost, maintaining freshness and quality, so it is more competitive than other supplies.

The UK and Canada are also the two main import markets for vegetables and fruits worldwide, but the proportion of imports from Vietnam of both markets accounts for less than 1% of the total import value. Therefore, the Import-Export Department said that there are still many opportunities for Vietnamese fruit and vegetable exporters to exploit.

Focusing on sustainable production

In order for vegetables and fruits to enter the EU market, according to the Import-Export Department, exporters need to pay attention that EU people only consume high-quality and uniform products, ensuring food safety, and convenience, products must be produced according to sustainable, low-emissions, and socially responsible processes.

For the US market, it is necessary to promote and introduce products to other communities because the US is a united country. In addition, the implementation of requirements for irradiation with fresh produce while Vietnam's irradiation facilities that meet the requirements of the United States are small, which has increased transportation costs. Therefore, it is necessary to solve infrastructure problems such as traffic, science and technology, e-commerce, logistics, seed technology and post-harvest preservation, understanding customer tastes, marketing promotion, and building a national brand for Vietnamese agricultural products.

Besides, with the main market being China, in order to increase export value, Vietnam's fruit and vegetable products must have good quality and meet consumer tastes. This requires Vietnamese enterprises to master and comply with the current system of regulations and standards of the Chinese market.

In addition, enterprises need to regularly update and comply with regulations on quality standards, testing, quarantine, packaging, and traceability of the Chinese market. In addition, there is a strategy for logistics, building warehouses to preserve agricultural products in border localities to help preserve them longer and keep good quality when the delivery time comes.

Source: Customs News