Insight – Opportunities for Australian citrus in Vietnam

26 September 2022

Australia exported a record $20.4 million of citrus to Vietnam in 2020–21 (ABS 2022). This was due to an increase in demand for fresh fruit in Vietnam.  

Demand for premium fruit is also rising. The first shipment of Australian Sumo Citrus to Vietnam arrived in July 2022.

Sumo Citrus is a large, high-sweetness mandarin/orange hybrid grown in the Riverina, Sunraysia and the Riverland. It is well suited to Vietnamese consumer preferences for large, sweet and seedless fruit. 

Growing exports to Vietnam indicate opportunities for Australian citrus growers in the market.

Vietnam citrus market snapshot

In 2021, Vietnam imported 32% more citrus than the average for 2017–2020 average. This made Vietnam the 9th most valuable citrus market in the world (US$551.4m) (TradeMap 2022).

Vietnam’s rapidly growing middle-class is expected to drive further increases in citrus imports. This consumer market is increasingly health conscious.

Figure 1: Vietnam citrus imports, 2016 to 2021

Figure 1 Vietnam Citrus

Opportunities for Australian citrus growers

Australia has a counter-seasonal advantage in Vietnamese markets. China is the largest supplier of citrus to Vietnam, followed by Australia and the US (Figure 1). Australia is the only major southern hemisphere exporter.

Vietnam’s preference for premium-grade fruit imports is reflected in relatively high import prices. In 2021, Vietnam had the highest import price of the world’s largest citrus importers (Figure 2).

Figure 2: Major citrus importing countries import values and average import unit price in 2021

Figure 2 Vietnam Citrus

Vietnam market snapshot

Vietnam is one of the fastest growing economies in Southeast Asia and growth has been resilient to COVID-19 shocks.

  • GDP per capita in Vietnam has risen by 847.2% over the past 2 decades, from US$390 (A$670) in 2000 to US$3,694 (A$4,927) in 2021.
  • Vietnam’s GDP is expected to grow by 5% in 2022 on the back of robust manufacturing and a rebound in the services sector.
  • The median age of citizens in Vietnam is 32.5 years. This younger generation is typically prepared to pay more for imported goods as their incomes increase.
  • An additional 36 million Vietnamese people could be added to the consuming class in the next decade.

Resources

The Manual of Importing Country Requirements has information about Vietnam’s import conditions.

Austrade has more information about market opportunities in Vietnam.

The Australian Government’s network of Agriculture Counsellors provided information for this article. More information about the Agriculture Counsellor network, including contact details, is available on the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry website.

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