Update: 18:17 | 14/06/2022
Banana exports to China increased by 10 percent in the first five months though total vegetable and fruit exports to that country were down 28 percent.
Vietnam was China's largest supplier of bananas at 742,000 tons or 43 percent of its total imports, according to the Vietnam Fruit & Vegetables Association (Vinafruit).
A banana orchard in southern province of Dong Nai.
Vo Quang Huy, director of agriculture firm Huy Long An Co. Ltd, said his company's banana exports to China were up almost 30 percent year-on-year despite the Covid-19 restrictions and safety measures in place there.
Nguyen Van Cu, director of a northern exporter, agreed, saying his company’s exports doubled to around 500 tons.
"Prices have surged from VND3,000 (13 U.S. cents) a kilogram last year to VND5,000-8,000."
Vinafruit chairman Dang Phuc Nguyen attributed the rise to falling output in China, where banana farms have been plagued by Fusarium wilt, a lethal fungal disease that has no cure, and rising input costs.
But packaging and logistic costs of up to VND13,000 a kilogram eat up profits, exporters said.
They expect exports and prices to rise sharply in the second half of this year.
Vietnamese exports need to improve their quality and origin traceability to increase their chances of entering the Chinese market, Nguyen added.