HANOI, May 9 (Xinhua) -- Exports of Vietnamese fruit and vegetables rose 19.4 percent from the same period last year, which greatly boosted the country's agriculture, forestry and fishery sector amid a global slowdown, local media VnEconomy reported on Tuesday.
According to figures compiled by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, shipments of fruit and vegetables in April jumped 75 percent year on year to 410 million U.S. dollars, mainly due to expanded exports of durian, dragon fruit and banana.
Vietnamese exports of fruit and vegetables amounted to nearly 1.4 billion dollars in the first four months of this year.
Vietnam has managed to sharply boost sales of fruit and vegetables following a substantial increase in its formal exports of durian, sweet potato and banana to China, grapefruit to the U.S. and lemon to New Zealand, said Dang Phuc Nguyen, general secretary of the Vietnam Fruit and Vegetable Association.
China remained the biggest market for Vietnamese fruit and vegetables in the January-April period, accounting for 58.7 percent of the total export turnover, 27.4 percent higher than a year before, said the agriculture ministry.
The largest export growth in the period was seen in Laos with value up by almost three times over the year. Meanwhile, exports to the U.S. and Australia fell 18 percent and 20.2 percent, respectively, data showed.
Among top foreign currency earners including durian, dragon fruit and banana, durian exports are forecast to reach 1 billion dollars this year, Nguyen added.
Vietnam's fruit and vegetables would likely to rise by about 20 percent to 4 billion dollars this year as the country is expected to see exports to China widening to 2.5 billion dollars, said Nguyen.
Vietnam earned 16.4 billion dollars from its exports to China in the first four months of the year, posting a decline of 7.9 percent from a year earlier, according to the General Statistics Office. ■