Vietnamese longan sold well in Japan despite high prices

Vietnamese longan is much welcomed in Japan although its retail prices are high, which brings a big opportunity for local farmers.

Nguyen Khac Huy, director of Hoang Phat Fruit Ltd Company based in the southern province of Long An, said that after its first batch of 10 tonnes of fresh longan was exported to Japan early this year, the company will continue exporting about 70-100 tonnes of the fruit by sea and by air to the market monthly.

Longan retail price in Japan is high, about 320,000 VND (13.5 USD) per kilo, but the fruit is soon sold out, he said.

Dang Phuc Nguyen, General Secretary of the Vietnam Fruit and Vegetable Association, said that four Vietnamese fresh fruits – dragon fruit, mango, lychee, and longan – are eligible to be exported to Japan through the official channel.

Longan is a high-value export and can be sold at high prices in Japan, he said, adding that Japan’s import of the fruit brings a big opportunity for Vietnamese farmers.

Vietnam now has about 80,000 ha of longan with an output of about 600,000 tonnes per year. However, the area for the Indo-longan variety favoured by Japanese consumers is not much and that with the fruit qualified for export is small.

Ta Duc Minh, Vietnam Trade Counselor in Japan, said that it’s difficult to enter Japan but it’s more difficult to maintain a foothold in the market as if only a batch of products fails to meet requirements, Vietnamese exporters will lose consumers’ trust and it’s very difficult to regain the trust.