​Vietnam spends over $1bn importing veg in Jan-Aug 2017

Jan-Aug imports increased 94 percent on the same period last year

A woman buys imported apples in Ho Chi Minh City.

While Vietnam sells its green produce around the world, the Southeast Asian country has also spent huge amounts of state money importing vegetables.

In the Jan-Aug period of this year, Vietnam imported more than US$1 billion worth of fruits and vegetables, a massive 94 percent increase on a year earlier, according to the agriculture ministry.

The eight-month import figures on vegetables were worth $190 million, up 35 percent from the same period last year, while fruit imports more than doubled to top $800 million, the ministry elaborated.

In August alone, the country spent nearly $170 million on imported green produce.

Vietnam imports the most produce from Thailand, with the neighboring country’s produce accounting for nearly 62 percent of imports in the first eight months of 2017. China ranks second, making up 16 percent of Vietnam’s green import value.

Vietnam’s fruit and vegetable imports from Thailand rose by 3.2 times from last year, while increases from the Indian and New Zealand markets were 2.2 times and 50 percent, according to the ministry.

Vietnam posted $20.45 billion in export revenue from agro-forestry and aquatic products in the Jan-Jul period this year.

As of mid-July, Vietnam shipped more than $1.8 billion worth of fruit and vegetable to other markets.

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