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Vietnam’s fruit and vegetable export was over US$2.06 billion in the first half of this year, up 17.4% year-on-year, the Vietnam Fruit and Vegetables Association (VinaFruit) said.

In June alone, the figure stood at US$356 million, representing a year-on-year rise of 38%, according to the association.

Meanwhile, the country imported US$686 million worth of fruit and vegetables in the six-month period, a drop of 16.6% from the same period last year, resulting in a trade surplus of US$1.3 billion.

China, the US, Japan and the Republic of Korea remained Vietnam’s biggest fruit and vegetable buyers, with the highest increase recorded in the US market (132%).

Since early June, Vietnamese and Chinese competent agencies have reached an agreement on plant quarantine to simplify customs procedures for fresh fruit exports.

Dragon fruit, watermelon and lychee have enjoyed impressive increases in export volumes in the two quarters, up 138%, 132% and 44% , respectively.

Apart from the three fruits, six others have been allowed to be shipped to the neighbouring country via the official channel, namely mango, longan, banana, jack fruit, rambutan and mangosteen.

Vietnamese sweet potato and durian are expected to join the list soon.