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Vietnamese Produce Prices Plummet by 80%

September 28, 2021

According to a report by online newspaper VnExpress, Vietnamese produce prices have plunged dramatically recently amid strained sales as a result of the pandemic. In the major farming region of the Mekong River Delta, where fruit production accounts for approximately 70% of Vietnam’s national output, prices of many agricultural products have fallen by almost 80%.

It is currently peak pomelo season in Vietnam. The major growing region for Nam Roi pomelos is Binh Minh in the province of Vinh Long, which has an annual output of around 23,000 tons. In April this year, prior to the region’s fourth wave of COVID-19 infections, Nam Roi pomelos were selling for as much as 10,000–14,000 Vietnamese dong ($0.44–0.62) per kilogram. Now, however, they are only fetching 2,000–9,000 dong ($0.09–0.40) per kilogram. According to local growers, prices have hit a 10-year low and at present do not even cover the costs of the fertilizer, pesticide and labor needed to grow the fruit.


Nam Roi pomelos being transported from southern Vinh Long province.

The prices of many local specialty fruits have also plummeted. Rambutans are only fetching a wholesale price of 5,000–6,000 dong ($0.22–0.26) per kilogram, while longans are selling for a wholesale price of 6,000–30,000 dong ($0.26–1.32) per kilogram, two to three times lower than prior to the fourth wave of COVID-19.

Purple sweet potato export prices have also fallen sharply. In the major sweet potato growing region of Binh Tan, also in Vinh Long province, 60-kilogram packages of purple sweet potatoes sold for 1 million dong ($43.95) prior to the Lunar New Year in February of this year. Export prices have now dropped by 85%, to just 150,000–160,000 dong ($6.59–7.03) per 60 kilograms.

According to the head of a local purple sweet potato growing cooperative, Vietnam’s purple sweet potatoes are primarily exported to China, which has temporarily suspended agricultural imports from Vietnam several times over the last few months, causing purple sweet potato prices to plummet. Many growers have even said that they are temporarily halting the planting of any new sweet potato crops, as it will likely be some time before significant relief is achieved from the effects of the pandemic.

In the second half of this year, Vietnamese agricultural exports to China have fallen rapidly. According to Dang Phuc Nguyen, the general secretary of the Vietnam Fruit and Vegetable Association (VinaFruit), Vietnam’s fruit and vegetable exports to the Chinese market have been steadily decreasing since May of this year until now at an average rate of 15% per month, with the dragon fruit sector particularly hard hit.

Images: Pixabay (main image), VnExpress/Chau Thanh (body image)

This article was translated from Chinese. Read the original article.

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