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Feb 12, 2023 / 15:03

Good signals for Vietnamese agricultural exports this year

In 2023, Vietnam's fruit and vegetable exports to China are estimated to rise by 20-30% to US$4 billion.

Vietnamese companies have exported hundreds of tons of high-quality agricultural products during the Lunar New Year, which bodes well for agricultural exports in 2023, according to local insiders. 

Multi-million dollar orders of agricultural products from Vietnam

 Many export orders to China during the Lunar New Year. Photos: Cong Thuong Newspaper

Vina T&T Import-Export Trading Service has been very busy preparing durian shipments to China since the Lunar New Year.

After signing an export strategic cooperation agreement with Sunwah Group (Hong Kong - China), the Vietnamese fruit company has become an official durian exporter to China. General Director Nguyen Dinh Tung said the company will export 4,500 containers of durian to the Chinese market this year.

Increased demand during the recent Lunar New Year [January 22-26] doubled the price of this item from VND70,000 (US$3)-80,000/kg to VND130,000-150,000/kg. Exports of fresh fruit registered an increase of 30% in January compared to the same period last year.

“Notably, pomelos exported to the US and durians to China contributed largely to this growth. The fresh fruit sells quickly, so our partners place new orders every day, especially from the Chinese market," Tung added.

General Secretary of the Vietnam Fruit and Vegetable Association (Vinafruit) Dang Phuc Nguyen said fruit exports in January grew strongly, with an estimated increase of up to 25% over the same period in 2022.

Nguyen attributed the strong growth to the reopening of China's borders and the trade protocols signed between Vietnam and China in late 2022. The good performance is expected to boost exports in 2023. Last year, Vietnam and China signed four protocols on exporting agricultural products to China, including mangosteen, durian, passion fruit, and banana.

There are 11 kinds of Vietnamese fruits that have been exported via official channels to China, including dragon fruit, watermelon, lychee, longan, banana, mango, jackfruit, rambutan, mangosteen, passion fruit, and durian.

Nguyen stressed that fruit and vegetable exports to China will increase by at least 20-30% to about $4 billion this year thanks to rising demand in the neighboring country. "In particular, shipments of dragon fruit and durian are likely to reach $1 billion each this year," he stressed. 

Rice, one of Vietnam’s key exports, also recorded positive signals. Trung An Hi-tech Farming Joint Stock Company has signed many contracts for export to  South Korea, Malaysia, Singapore, Europe, Australia, and the US until the beginning of the second quarter of 2023.

Pham Thai Binh, General Director of Trung An Hi-tech Farming Joint Stock Company said the number of containers shipped amounted to nearly 1,500, equivalent to about 30,000 tons, mainly of high-quality rice and fragrant rice.

Vina T&T Director Nguyen Dinh Tung believed that with the efforts of local businesses and timely support from trade advisors from foreign countries to connect domestic manufacturers with foreign importers, many cooperation agreements would be signed. "Thanks to this, more opportunities will open up for many Vietnamese agricultural products to expand their overseas markets, improve the export value and position the Vietnamese brand in the world," he said.

Improving quality to reach out to foreign markets

 Vietnam sees prospects for export growth of agricultural products. 

According to local economists, to reach the international market, localities, and companies that export agricultural products must meet the strict technical requirements of the destination market, including the standardization of production and organic production. Or localities should focus on establishing planting zone codes to increase production and control the quality of vegetables and fruits exported to China.

Deputy Director of the Import and Export Department of the Ministry of Industry and Trade Tran Thanh Hai affirmed that Vietnamese agricultural products have many export growth prospects, especially coffee, pepper, durian, and seafood, which gross high turnover in tough markets.

He added, however, that companies must change their mindset and focus on production in accordance with international regulations and laws. In particular, they must understand the changes in import and export control in the destination market, as well as global consumer needs and trends, and thus build action plans to invest and apply technology in production and improve product quality. "These are mandatory solutions for Vietnamese enterprises to meet the requirements of their partners and build their reputation and brand," he said.

Meanwhile, Pham Tat Thang, a senior expert from the Institute for Strategy and Policy Research under the Ministry of Industry and Trade said that the current trade relationship between Vietnam and Europe is very favorable thanks to the signed free trade agreement which provides many tax incentives and mechanisms for businesses. 

“This is the driving force for Vietnamese enterprises to boost exports and send high-value agricultural products to this market,” he underlined.

The production mindset as well as the capacity of Vietnamese enterprises have changed significantly. Many of them have focused on improving product quality, food hygiene and safety, traceability, and meeting market standards. This will help the enterprises continue to earn large grossing from foreign markets in 2023, he said.