Trucks filled with Vietnamese dragon fruit en route to China have queued for weeks near the border gate in northern Lang Son Province as cold weather sets in, inhibiting Chinese consumption.
As Vietnam enters the peak of the dragon fruit harvest season, low demand from their northern neighbors has caused local farmers to struggle with offloading their crops.
According to an observation by Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper at the Tan Thanh border gate in Lang Son, kilometers of trailer trucks loaded with Vietnamese fruit – mostly dragon fruits – line access roads awaiting entry into China.
It can take roughly a day for a truck to reach the inspection area where goods are cleared for import into China.
From there, drivers are made to park in a waiting lot for between three and ten days as they await approval to pass through the border gate and head for an agro-market about 6-7 kilometers away in China’s Guangxi region.
Around 100 trailer trucks were parked in the lot as of Wednesday, all awaiting calls from Chinese merchants in need of fruit.
At the agro-market, the trucks wait another 3-8 days as Chinese vendors inspect the fruit, many of whom refuse to buy.
According to drivers, some trucks have been waiting for two weeks to sell their load.
Some merchants attribute the low demand for tropical fruit to China’s current cold spell, with temperatures reaching as low as four degrees Celsius.