Last year, it said it cultivated the fruits on 67,000 hectares and produced 1.6 million tonnes, more than Vietnam’s production.
People’s Daily The newspaper reported that farmers in Cixi, eastern China’s Zhejiang province, worked through the night to artificially pollinate the dragon fruit, ensuring a bumper harvest.
Chinese news site Produce a report said July-August is peak season for the fruit, and in Guangxi, the country’s largest producer, dragon fruit prices have fallen to record lows.
Red-fleshed dragon fruit sells for about seven renminbi (nearly 1 US dollar) per kilogram and white-fleshed dragon fruit imported from Vietnam for about nine renminbi in Nanning, the capital of Guangxi.
Local products have also flooded markets in other Chinese localities and generally cost less than Vietnamese imports.
With the increase in domestic production, imports from Vietnam are decreasing.
According to Chinese customs data, 206,000 tons were imported in the first half of this year, mainly from Vietnam, worth 1.37 billion renminbi ($187 million), a year-on-year decrease of 50.4% and 42.9% and the lowest levels. in almost a decade.
In August, Vietnamese dragon fruit exports fell 20.5 percent year-on-year and 34 percent from July, to $40.6 million. Exports in the first eight months fell 4.4% year-on-year to $442 million. In the first eight months, exports of red-fleshed dragon fruit to China fell by 36.5%.
Talk to VnExpressThe director of a dragon fruit export company in the central province of Binh Thuan said that while dragon fruits have always been a key export commodity with annual shipments exceeding $1 billion, they have been slow this year.
Nguyen Dinh Tung, general manager of Vina T&T Export-Import Service Trading Company, said exporting dragon fruit to China is no longer as lucrative as before. The United States, Canada and Mexico have also started cultivating this fruit, leading to a decrease in Vietnamese exports to these countries.
Dang Phuc Nguyen, secretary-general of the Vietnam Fruit and Vegetable Association, said the dragon fruit supply chain faces two challenges.
Farmers are overusing pesticides, with residues exceeding prescribed levels and failing to comply with food safety regulations in some countries, he said.
After harvest, the fruits must be stored properly to ensure their quality, but Vietnam has limited technology for this and can only store them for less than 60 days, making it difficult to export by sea to countries distant, he declared.
Companies must persuade research institutions to create better preservation technologies, he added.
Experts have called on authorities in dragon fruit growing areas not to expand the area under cultivation of the fruit, but to replace existing plants to improve productivity and quality.
“At the bedside, processing facilities must conduct research on the use of dragon fruit in cosmetic products such as facial masks and skin creams, for domestic consumption and export , as countries in South America did,” Nguyen said.