01/25/2022, 14.15
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Vietnam sells dragon fruit (turned away by China) to Australia

by Tran Hung

China’s Zero COVIDd-19 policy has disrupted trade, forcing Vietnamese farmers to throw away tonnes of fresh fruit. In turn, this has pushed the Vietnamese government to redirect exports to Australia asking overseas Vietnamese to support their homeland’s farmers.

Hanoi (AsiaNews) – China’s Zero COVID-19 policy has had collateral effects on neighbouring countries.

Since November 2021, lorries carrying fresh fruit have been blocked at Vietnam’s northern border after Chinese authorities intensified their anti-contagion campaign. This has forced Vietnam to turn to Australia for its exports.

Vietnamese farmers, who shipped large quantities of dragon fruit, watermelons and jackfruits to China, were forced to throw away tonnes of spoiled food and lower the prices of their produce.

More than 6,000 lorries are waiting along the border at the Tân Thanh-Pò Chài and the Hữu Nghị Quan crossings.

Under current regulations, drivers are not allowed to leave their lorries once they cross the border and must return to Vietnam the same day. They also need to take a quick test every three days even if they have been fully vaccinated.

This had a major impact on Vietnamese farmers who have contracts to ship tonnes of fruit to China. Locally, the price of dragon fruit has dropped from 5,000 to 4,000 dong (from 22 to 17 cents US) per kilo.

For this reason, the Vietnamese Ministry of Industry and Trade has tried to re-direct exports to Australia.

Recently, tonnes of dragon fruit have been sold for 200,000 dongs a kilo (US$ 8.85) in the states of Western and Southern Australia thanks to the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce, which launched a promotional campaign.

The Hoa Australia Company has shipped 14 tonnes of red and white flesh dragon fruit to markets in Melbourne, Sydney, Perth and Cabramatta.

Dragon fruit sales were encouraged through a promotional campaign that included a chance to win airline tickets and toys for children on the occasion of the Lunar New Year.

Trade associations and Vietnamese nationals living in various Australian cities were also invited to support their homeland’s farmers.

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