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Lychee exporter Vietnam, which majorly exports to China, is now looking at other nations to send its produce to
While China is one of the largest markets for Vietnam with a 60 per cent share, political tension between the two nations could force Vietnam to consider markets such as Australia and USA.
Though the political tensions haven’t had a major impact on the entire export market, certain products such as lychee have taken a hit, stated Vietnamese reports. Traders have said that despite having a bumper crop, there were no Chinese buyers in 2014.
This year, while several traders are choosing to remain loyal to China, others have begun considering reliable trading partners such as USA and Australia. So far, only 35 tonnes have been exported to the two countries but it is considered significant enough by the market leaders.
Specifically, Australia appears to be a potentially lucrative market for Vietnam as it is quicker to fly the lychee consignments to Melbourne, than sending the produce from the north of Australia to the south by truck, said Australian traders.
Traditionally a major coffee, rice and catfish exporter, Vietnam is now focusing on exporting lychee after major exporters such as China, Thailand and India. The fruit crop is mostly consumed in Vietnam domestically, but exports are growing – they went up from US$622mn in 2011 to more than US$1.4bn in 2014, according to official figures.
The Vietnamese government is targeting a ten-fold increase over the coming years, with crops like longan, dragon fruit and lychee being given priority.
According to Nguyen Van Tuat, vice-president of the Academy of Agricultural Sciences at Vietnam, opening up newer markets will also reduce the country’s reliance on China and make it economically active.