HANOI, May 30 (Xinhua) -- Vietnam's fruit and vegetable exports rose 29 percent to 1.9 billion U.S. dollars in the first five months from a year ago mainly due to expanded exports of durian, dragon fruit and banana, VnExpress reported on Monday.
China remained the biggest market for Vietnamese fruit and vegetables in the January-May period with 805 million U.S. dollars worth of shipments, according to the Vietnam Fruit & Vegetable Association.
Vietnam's top 10 fruit and vegetable export markets in the period also included the United States, the Netherlands, and Malaysia.
Nguyen Dinh Tung, general director of Vina T&T Import Export Trading Service Company, said that despite a sales slump in the United States and Canada in the first four months, the company's export revenues increased by 20 percent thanks to boosted shipments to China.
The company has signed contracts to export 1,500 containers of durian, with each container holding 15 tons of the fruit to China this year, he added.
Vietnam has managed to sharply increase sales of fruit and vegetables following a substantial increase in its formal exports of durian, mango, jackfruit, sweet potato and banana to China, grapefruit to the U.S. and lemon to New Zealand, said General Secretary Dang Phuc Nguyen from the Vietnam Fruit & Vegetable Association.
Among top foreign currency earners, including durian, dragon fruit and banana, durian exports are forecast to reach 1 billion U.S. dollars this year, he added.
He predicted fruit and vegetable exports would improve in the second half of this year from the first half if producers can meet the requirements of the Chinese market in terms of Good Agricultural Practices.
Vietnam's fruit and vegetables would likely rise by about 20 percent to 4 billion U.S. dollars this year as the country is expected to see exports to China widening to 2.5 billion U.S. dollars, said Nguyen.
China is favoring Vietnamese agricultural products, and the market is increasingly demanding, said Nguyen Xuan Cuong, director of the Department of Crop Production under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.
Trade authorities advised traders and exporters further promote exports to China via official channels by building brands, developing market-targeted strategies, and expanding large-scale and specialized farming areas, said To Ngoc Son, deputy head of the Asia-Africa Market Department under the Ministry of Industry and Trade.