Fruit Prices in Vietnam Soar on Strong Demand from the Chinese Market

Published Feb 21, 2023
In Vietnam, most prices of many agricultural products recorded the highest increase since Covid-19. Fruit prices skyrocketed in January after China re-opened its trade border after three years of lockdown due to Covid. The strong return of exports to China and vibrant purchasing and processing activities in Vietnam are the main reasons for the price increase of various agricultural products. Prices of durians have jumped to a record high, while those of other fruits such as dragon fruit, jackfruit, and sweet potato have increased by 2-3 times over the first month of the year. As a result, Vietnamese exporters are rushing to ship to China to take advantage of the high prices, while the local market has been left with high prices.

On January 8th, China re-opened its international trade after remaining in lockdown for almost three years due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The reopening has boosted Vietnamese export activities, particularly in the agricultural sector, which is driven by the Chinese market. As a result, procurement and processing activities at Vietnamese factories have been vibrant again, creating momentum for various agricultural products.

According to the Vietnamese Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, the reopening of the major Chinese export market has created a rise in demand for fruit products, which, in some cases, are currently out of season. Therefore, low supply has spiked prices. Since then, the price of durian in the Vietnamese wholesale market spiked to a record high on Jan-23 when the price stood at USD 8/kg. In addition, the soaring demand for fresh Thai and Vietnamese durians in the Chinese market comes after Chinese consumers weren’t able to source the fruit for a long time now. The demand is not just high in China but also in the Vietnamese domestic market, where the consumption of fruit is growing at a rapid pace.

In the case of other Vietnamese fruits, prices have doubled or tripled from a year earlier, also driven by the surge in exports to China: the price of white dragon fruit rose to USD 1.05/kg from 0.76/kg in December 2022; red dragon fruit jumped to USD 1.61/kg from 1.20/kg while custard apple hiked to USD 2.54/kg from 1.90/kg, and jackfruit rose to USD 1.05/kg from 0.76/kg.

According to Gillian Liu, Tridge’s Distribution Manager in China, Vietnamese dragon fruit prices have increased with the opening of exports in China in January 2023. “The demand for Vietnamese agricultural products has increased due to the opening of Chinese ports. As a result, Binh Thuan Pitaya's price has continued to rise recently. In W3, Binh Thuan Pitaya's price stood at USD 0.84-0.93/kg (RMB 5.7-6.3/kg), an increase of four to five times since December 2022”, she reported.

Ms. Lui has also reported on Vietnamese jackfruits’ daily price in the Chinese wholesale market. On February 11th, the price reference of Vietnamese jackfruit in the Jiaxing Hai Guangxing market was as follows: for extra large size was at USD 1.98/kg, for large size was at USD 1.69/kg, medium size USD 1.40/kg, and small size for USD 1.10/kg.

Other Vietnamese agricultural products, other than fruits, such as sweet potato, taro, and watermelon, increased higher than in the same period last year. According to the Departments of Agriculture and Rural Development in Gia Lai, Long An, An Giang, and Tien Giang, most prices of many agricultural products recorded the highest increase since Covid-19 on January 2023 after the steady return of exports to China.

According to the Vietnam Fruit and Vegetable Association, the volume of purchasing and exporting increased by 20-50% in the first month of the year over the last year. Also, the purchasing volume is already increased by 70% YoY from the previous factory capacity.

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