Pomelo exports have surged this year after shipments to the U.S. and New Zealand began, with the figure for the first eight months standing at US$29.6 million.
It represented a 144% year-on-year increase.
Dang Phuc Nguyen, general secretary of the Fruit and Vegetable Association, said pomelos, previously exported only to the EU and the Middle East, have been shipped to the U.S. and New Zealand since the end of 2022.
Green-skin pomelos being packaged and inspected before being shipped to the U.S.
With the quality of Vietnam’s green-skin pomelo improving rapidly, it is becoming popular in many countries, he said.
Nguyen Dinh Tung, general director of Vina T&T Export Import Service Trading Company, which accounts for 60% of all fruits and vegetables exported to the U.S., said Vietnamese pomelos face competition from China and Mexico, but are gaining a stronger foothold in the market.
In the U.S. market, Vietnamese pomelo is sold at $9 per kilogram and Chinese varieties at only $2, but the former has won over more and more consumers due to its quality, he said.
"This is the first year my company exports pomelos to the U.S., but volumes have increased sharply each quarter. In the first three months of this year we exported four 40-foot containers a month, now we export 16."
Fresh pomelo is the seventh fruit after mango, longan, lychee, dragon fruit, rambutan, and star apple that Vietnam exports to the U.S.
The Plant Protection Department said pomelo is exported to 12 countries and territories.
Vietnam has 105,400 hectares under the fruit and an annual output of 905,000 tons.
Most of the green-skin pomelo is grown in the Mekong Delta.