Vietnam’s processed vegetable industry in the first 6 months of 2023: outstanding growth in exports. How to maintain the growth momentum of Vietnam’s processed vegetable industry?

The processed vegetable industry in the first 6 months of 2023 recorded outstanding growth. Export turnover of processed vegetables in the first 6 months of 2023 reached 2.681 billion USD, up more than 60% over the same period in 2022.

Figure 1: Pineapple being cleaned in a vegetable processing factory
                                   Figure 1: Pineapple being cleaned in Vietnam processed vegetable industry 

Overview of Vietnam’s processed vegetable industry in the first 6 months of 2023

Export of processed vegetables grew strongly in 6M/23:

According to VIRAC’s report, the export turnover of fruits and vegetables in the first 6 months of 2023 reached 2.681 billion USD, an increase of more than 60% compared to the same period in 2022. This figure is close to the export turnover of the whole 2022 (2022 is $3.3 billion USD).

Figure 2: Export turnover of processed vegetables by type, 5M2023 iin processed vegetable industry 
                                      Figure 2: Export turnover of processed vegetables by type, 5M2023

Source: VIRAC

To reach this figure, flowers and nuts contributed the most to total production. However, processed vegetables are also positive when contributing nearly x% to the export proportion of processed vegetables.


According to VIRAC’s report, the countries with strong growth in vegetable imports from Vietnam are: China, Korea, Japan, and the Netherlands. Among them, the Chinese market has grown the most. The reopening of China promotes export activities between the two countries, opportunities for agricultural products to increase export output.


In terms of categories, fruits and nuts are the items with the best growth. Durian alone has seen a spike in export turnover in the first five months of 2023. China is Vietnam’s largest fresh durian export market. This country alone accounts for more than 96% of the total turnover. Therefore, China’s push to import fresh durian from Vietnam has had a very positive impact on the whole industry, and at the same time opens up bright prospects for Vietnam’s durian export.


Besides, Vietnamese durian is also being exported to markets such as the US, EU, Japan, Australia, UK, etc. These are big markets, demonstrating the potential of the durian market.

Figure 3: Import turnover of fruits and vegetables in the first 6 months of 2023
    Figure 3: Import turnover of fruits and vegetables in the first 6 months of 2023 in Vietnam processed vegetable industry

Source: VIRAC

Import of processed vegetables will grow steadily in 6M/2023:

According to the VIRAC report, China is the main supplier of vegetable products to Vietnam. However, in the first 6 months of 2023, China’s fruit and vegetable output to Vietnam decreased by 1% by 2022, accounting for 35% of Vietnam’s total supply.


The most imported varieties from China: potatoes, garlic, cabbage, cabbage, mushrooms, oranges, tangerines, grapes, pears, apples, pomegranates.


Potential markets of the processed vegetable industry:

For many years, China has been the largest market for Vietnam’s fresh fruit consumption, accounting for 60% market share. However, now The group of processed fruits and vegetables grew rapidly in the US, EU and Japanese markets. This is a good signal to help Vietnam’s fruit and vegetable industry in general and the processed vegetable industry in particular reduce dependence on China and increase Vietnam’s advantage in the world market.


Currently, the growth of canned fruit products, bottled juice in the US market and European countries is in good shape. The export value of Vietnam’s processed vegetables to these markets is growing by 30-45% a year.


The market for processed vegetables is very potential, especially for export. However, enterprises in this industry still face many challenges related to production structure, high prices of raw materials and input materials. According to a general report, the annual output of fruits and vegetables harvested in Vietnam is over 31 million tons. However, only 4.5 million tons, accounting for about 14% of the country’s total fruit and vegetable production, have been processed.


The world is leaning towards using processed fruits and vegetables. Therefore, if you know how to take advantage and create the right direction, Vietnam’s vegetable and fruit exports will grow strongly in the future.


Figure 4: Mango processing activities at the factory
                     Figure 4: Mango processing activities in the processed vegetable industry

Measures for Vietnam’s processed vegetable industry to maintain its growth momentum

Measure 1: Promote the export of processed vegetables

– Increase in the type of goods:

The market for Vietnam’s processed vegetable industry is very promising. This commodity segment has always maintained a good growth rate due to the increasing demand of people in many countries to use processed fruits and vegetables. However, at present, Vietnam’s processed fruit and vegetable products are relatively limited in variety. Therefore, it is necessary to diversify more types of goods to meet the diverse needs of the market today.


– Market expansion:

Besides the large and potential traditional market of China, Vietnam needs to boost exports to the European market with many open opportunities. Although the market is open and growing well, at present, Vietnam is only ranked 50th among the markets supplying vegetables to the EU. It can be seen that there is still a lot of room for Vietnamese fruits and vegetables to penetrate the EU market. The reason for this is that the size of this market is huge. The EU market alone accounts for 43% of the value of global fruit and vegetable trade. On the other hand, the consumption demand of EU people is spread throughout the year and depends largely on imports from other countries.


– Developing potential new products:

Besides the familiar export products such as durian, dragon fruit, banana, passion fruit, … Vietnam can promote the development of a number of other potential products, namely avocado. According to statistics from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), global avocado consumption is forecast to reach nearly 4 million tons, worth $8.3 billion by 2030. With this prediction, avocados could become one of the most important tropical fruit commodities in the global fruit trade. At the same time, avocado is also predicted to become one of the most valuable fruit commodities. Vietnam needs to seize this opportunity and focus on developing avocados and avocado products to gain a competitive advantage in the international market.


Figure 5: Part of avocado processing
                                                               Figure 5: Part of avocado processing

– Continue to exploit potential markets with key products

Although it is necessary to diversify categories and find new products, it is also important to develop and exploit potential markets for already key products. These fruits have been grown for a long time, yielding annual yields without the need for replanting time which presents less risk to the grower than the development of new crops. For example, Vietnam needs to increase its competitiveness with major durian exporting countries such as Thailand, Malaysia, etc. Another way to continue exploiting the potential of durian is to find new markets.


Measure 2: Towards modern agriculture

One of the most important and necessary measures to help develop the processed vegetable industry is to apply science and technology to production. It is necessary to apply science right from the cultivation step to the processing of vegetables to increase productivity, reduce labor and ensure the quality of agricultural products.


Besides, vegetable processing factories also need to invest more in agricultural product processing factories. For example, bananas, a fruit with a huge market in China and EU countries, are having a hard time competing with other countries’ bananas. The reason for this is due to weaknesses in production and business, especially in the preservation stage. To go “long distance” businesses need to overcome weaknesses and apply technology to ensure safety in storage.


Although difficulties have been identified and are somewhat proactive in production, banana production and export cooperatives still face many obstacles. To improve preservation technology or invest in processing lines requires large investment costs. Meanwhile, most enterprises and cooperatives are still small and modest in scale, and access to bank loans and support policies of the state remains low.


Therefore, in order to achieve effective modern agriculture, the state needs to have policies to support producers and exporters of agricultural products. Support policies need to be closely linked to each other to ensure the convenience for producers and stable supply and demand. In particular, state agencies and credit institutions need to create conditions for cooperatives to access government capital. This will help the cooperative to serve technology inputs and fulfill applications big goods.


The above information is summarized in “Report on food processing industry Q2/2023“. The report not only provides full information on the macro-economy, trade supply and demand of the processed vegetable industry, but also provides full information on the processed meat, milk and dairy products industries. , seafood processing. In addition, the report also contains relevant information and forecasts from the latest updated data.





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