Australia to boost trade ties with Vietnam through table grapes

09:20 | 07/03/2019 Trade

Vietnam is a potential market for Australian table grapes because of its growing middle class, rapid economic growth and the increasing purchasing power of Vietnamese consumers.

Australian table grapes are showcased at the seminar - Photo: VNA

The statement was made by Yvonne Chan, Australian Deputy Consul-General and Senior Trade Commissioner to Vietnam, at a seminar in Hanoi on February 28.

The event was organised to cement existing trade relations and build new partnerships among Australian table grape exporters and Vietnamese importers.

Table grapes are produced in all Australian states, with the majority grown in Victoria. Of the country’s roughly 1,000 table grape growers, most are small-scale, family owned businesses. Australia plants an average volume of 170,000 tonnes of table grapes each year, 62 percent of which is exported to 42 countries and territories, Chan said.

Vietnam is the 7th largest importer of Australian table grapes with a 4 percent share, following China (38 percent), Indonesia (15 percent), Japan (10 percent), Hong Kong (7 percent), the Philippines (5 percent) and Thailand (5 percent).

According to Dianne Phan, trade head of Horticulture Innovation Australia Limited, Vietnam is a key export market for Australia, and the Australian table grape industry has worked hard to introduce Vietnamese consumers of Australian grapes.

“Over the past four years, Australian table grape exports have grown 73 percent, demonstrating the increasing demand for our high quality and premium produce,” she said.

Australian Table Grapes Association CEO Jeff Scott said several new varieties were coming into production for export this year such as sweet nectar, sweet sapphire, pristine seedless, long crimson, cotton candy and melody seedless. However, thompson seedless and crimson seedless are still expected to be Australia’s main export varieties.

“Vietnam is one of the best favourable markets for Australian table grapes, especially thanks to the easy delivery through air flights between the two countries. I expect the exporting volume of Australian table grapes into Vietnam will reach 7,000 tonnes this year, nearly five times higher than that in 2016,” Scott said.

Besides table grapes, Australia is exporting two other types of fruits into Vietnam, including citrus and cherry fruits.

Negotiations are also ongoing to bring Australian stone fruits into the Vietnamese market.

“I look forward to the trade ties between Australia and Vietnam being closer and more and more Australian products being presented in Vietnam, especially after the country officially became a member of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP),” Chan said.