The price of dragon fruit in the central province of Binh Thuan, the country’s largest producer of the crop, has fallen significantly in the last two weeks.
Binh Thuan province produces more than 500,000 tonnes of dragon fruit each year. — Photo ndh.vn
Although prices are low, traders are still unwilling to purchase this kind of fruit.
In Hàm Chính Commune (Ham Thuan Bac District), many dragon fruit farmers are looking for buyers.
According to some farmers, the price of dragon fruit declined sharply after the Mid-Autumn festival. It fell from a range of VND10,000 to VND15,000 (US$0.43 to $0.64) per kilo to VND700 - VND2,000 per kilo.
Farmer Ngo Minh Hai in Bình An Village, Ham Chinh Commune has 500 trees full of ripe fruit with an estimated yield of over three tonnes.
For weeks, his family has struggled to make ends meet because dealers demand an unreasonably low price or refuse to buy dragon fruit altogether. Hai’s wife said around the Mid-Autumn festival, one trader offered to buy some of their fruit at VND7,500 per kilo but the family decided not to sell until the whole garden ripened.
A week later, the price had dropped to VND3,000 per kilo. Acknowledging their mistake and accepting the loss, the family decided to sell their ripe fruit. But at that point, traders had stopped buying.
Truong Van Ba’s family in Thang Hiep village (Ham Thang Ward, Ham Thuan Bac District) found themselves in a similar situation. With nearly 1,000 trees planted on 1ha area, they also decided to let their fruit ripen before finding a buyer.
Ba said that prices have never been so low in his many years of growing dragon fruit.
Some traders say higher-than-normal yields have caused the price drop. Traders cannot sell fruit as quickly as it ripens, and some markets have started consuming less dragon fruit.
Moreover, according to some export enterprises, the dive in dragon fruit prices is attributed to the decreasing imports from the Chinese market, the major market for Vietnamese dragon fruit. In the past few years, China has also started to grow this kind of fruit to suppy its domestic market, and the country has now started to harvest.
Binh Thuan province has more than 27,000 hectares of dragon fruit with a total output of over 500,000 tonnes per year. It is grown mostly in Ham Thuan Nam, Ham Thuan Bac and Bac Binh Districts.
Dragon fruit is mainly exported to China, Japan, the Netherlands, and the US. — VNS