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Local firms boost processed mango exports to U.S.
Tuesday,  6/8/2021, 13:27 

Local firms boost processed mango exports to U.S.

By Nam Binh

Workers process mangoes for export. Many firms have invested in processing activities to boost the consumption of processed mangoes in foreign markets, mainly in the United States - PHOTO: THE HAI

HCMC - Due to difficulties in exporting Vietnam's fresh mangoes, many firms have invested in processing to boost the consumption of processed mangoes in foreign markets, mainly the United States.

In the first three months of the year, Vietnam was the United States’ 13th largest mango supplier, according to the Import-Export Department under the Ministry of Industry and Trade.

During the three-month period, the U.S. increased its import of dried mangoes and mango juice from Vietnam. Vietnam shipped 97 tons of mango juice worth US$102,600 to the American market, skyrocketing by 340% in volume and 160.5% in value year-on-year. The country’s export of dried mangoes to the United States reached 68 tons worth US$83,000.

Despite the modest volume, fostering the export of processed products is a growth trend for Vietnamese mango, said many firms.

Nguyen Dinh Tung, general director of Vina T&T Group, told the Saigon Times that the export of fresh fruits, including mango, had faced multiple difficulties due to high transport costs and the prolonged transportation time, while fresh fruits also have a short shelf life. Besides, many countries have erected technical barriers to fresh fruits to protect local products and customers, he said.

Taking the U.S. market as an example, he said that in the past, it took 20-23 days to ship goods by sea from Vietnam to the market, but now, the transport time is 30-35 days. Meanwhile, Vietnam’s preservation technology keeps mangoes fresh for a mere 30 days.

“Sometimes, the fresh mangoes arrived in the U.S. market, but reached the expiration date and were not sold to customers,” Tung said.

Dang Phuc Nguyen, general secretary of the Vietnam Fruit and Vegetables Association, said that since 2020, when the Covid-19 pandemic emerged, many fruit exporters have sought ways to adapt to the new market situation.

Due to high transport costs and the shortage of containers, many firms which specialize in exporting fresh products have shifted to processed products for shipments.

“Processed mangoes have a longer shelf life than fresh ones and do not face severe competition from the products of other countries,” Nguyen said.

Statistics indicated that in 2020, Vietnam shipped some US$800 million worth of processed vegetables and fruits to the United States, accounting for 25% of the total value of veggie and fruit exports, while the proportion was 10%-15% in 2019.

In addition, Europe and other countries are raising their consumption of Vietnam’s processed fruit, mainly dried mangoes and mango juice, urging many local exporters to upgrade and improve their machines and technology and expand production to ramp up the capacity of processing fruits and meet demands.

“This year, Vietnam’s export of processed fruits, including mangoes, is expected to soar by 30% against last year,” said Nguyen.

Vietnam shipped an estimated US$400 million of vegetables and fruits to foreign countries in May, up 48.3% year-on-year, sending the country’s export value of these products in the first five months of the year to US$1.77 billion, up 18% year-on-year.

In 2020, Vietnam exported 2,100 tons of mangoes worth US$4.6 million to America, up 66% in volume and 70% in value against 2019, while the latter bought 1,150 tons of frozen mangoes from Vietnam, up 38% from the 2019 figure.

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