As the price of Vietnamese lychees continues pushing past a 100 percent increase compared to this time last year, farmers in the northern province of Bac Giang are ramping up efforts to continue bringing the red fruit to new markets.
Bac Giang, a rural province bordering Hanoi, is famous for the tasty, delicious lychees the province's farmers harvest between May and June each year.
In 2018 alone, Bac Giang farmers produced a whopping 215,000 metric tons of lychees, valued at over VND5.8 trillion (US$249.4 million).
This year, however, it is not just the amount of lychees being produced that is incredible, but also the massive profits. Averaging VND50,000 ($2.15) per kg, prices just one week into harvest season are nearly double what they were in 2018.
Most notably, Vietnamese lychees, all grown under Vietnamese Good Agricultural Practice (VietGAP) and GlobalGAP standards, are making the biggest splash in Beijing, where it is currently selling for VND220,000 ($9.46) per kg.
Speaking at a business forum on lychee production and consumption in Bac Giang on Wednesday, Tran Quang Tan, director of the provincial Department of Industry and Trade, said that more than 500 enterprises in and outside Vietnam have plans to boost their lychee consumption both domestically and abroad.
Vietnamese retailer Saigon Co.op also stated at the forum that it currently distributes Bac Giang lychees to its nearly 700 outlets across 43 localities in Vietnam.
Moreover, Saigon Co.op also collaborates with partners in Europe, Japan, and other Southeast Asian countries to bring the Vietnamese lychee to international markets, according to the supermarket chain’s deputy general director Tran Lam Hong.
Meanwhile at the administrative level, Bac Giang trade department director Tan said the province is currently setting its sights on expanding its export markets to include Russia, Canada, and several Middle Eastern countries.
At Wednesday’s event, Hu Suojin, a commercial counselor at the Chinese Embassy in Vietnam, praised the quality of Bac Giang lychees and pledged to work toward more favorable conditions for lychee exports to China.
These are good signals for lychees produced in Bac Giang, considering the slump it went through in 2018 when prices dropped to VND12,000-20,000 ($0.52-0.86) per kg, according to the Vietnam News Agency.