New Zealand authorities have officially allowed Vietnam to export dragon fruit to their market, according to the information provided by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development’s Plant Protection Department.
Vietnam’s dragon fruit, which previously met standards to be exported to the U.S., Japan, and Korea, must undergo a hot steam treatment as well as satisfy other food safety requirements in order to enter the New Zealand market.
The Plant Protection Department has been working with Taiwan authorities to re-export dragon fruit to the market since it was banned in March 2009.
In February of this year, India also agreed to import Vietnamese dragon fruit, according to the Vietnam Association of Fruit and Vegetables.
In 2013, Vietnam’s exports of fruits and vegetables surpassed the US$1 billion mark for the first time, up 21 percent over the 2012 rate of more than $827 million.
Besides dragon fruit and mangos, large volumes of specialty fruits are being shipped abroad including longans, oranges, grapefruits, lychees, and bananas.
The major export markets for Vietnamese fruit and vegetables are China, Japan, the U.S., Russia, Thailand, Malaysia, South Korea, Taiwan, the Netherlands, and Singapore.
Among them, China is the largest importer of Vietnamese fruit and vegetables with about $300 million, accounting for one-third of the country’s total export revenues in 2013.
Last year China made up 28 percent of the foreign market share of Vietnamese fruit and vegetables, followed by Japan and the U.S., which each occupied 5-6 percent of the total market share.
However, the country still spends significant amounts on fruit and vegetable imports, which reached $294 million in 2010, $293.5 million in 2011, $335 million in 2012, and $402 million in 2013.