The period from June to December is the peak season of Vietnamese pomelos. This season, the historical drought with saltwater intrusion, and the COVID-19 outbreak have both made a big impact on Vietnamese farmers and fruit exporters.
Anna is a sales manager of a Vietnamese fruit exporter True Fruits Co., Ltd. She introduced the characteristics of Nam Roi pomelo and reviewed the current situation of the export market.
“At the moment, the field price is around 1.29 USD/ kg. Due to the COVID-19 epidemic, there is less demand from the market, which makes our price lower than normal. From early 2020 till now, the price of pomelos is around 0.3 USD/kg lower compared to the 2019 season.” Anna said, “We hope that the economic situation will soon be improved to help farmers have a higher and more stable income.”
As some other pomelo production countries are also coming into the harvest season, with huge yields and cheap prices, the market competition is very severe. “However, we believe in the good quality of Nam Roi pomelo. The product will always have a foothold in the high-end customer segment.”
Vietnam started to export Nam Roi pomelo in 2003. With an increased export volume and with a stable price, local farmers increased production intensively. “Pomelo production areas in Vietnam are growing year by year. The country produced 45,000 tons of Nam Roi pomelo in 2019. This season, we expect production to increase by 10%.” Anna said.
The Vietnamese Nam Roi pomelo is seedless, juicy, with a thin skin. The fruit has a slightly sour taste and the Brix level can be higher than 9.5%. “At normal temperature, the fruit can be stored for more than 2 months. With 5-8 Celsius degrees, the preservation time is up to 6 months. One specialty of Vietnamese pomelos is that the fruits are harvested all year round. Some demanding customers are willing to pay a higher price for the pomelo in the season where this fruit is hardly found elsewhere.”
The majority of True Fruits’ pomelos are exported to Europe, Anna said, “Europe has a very high standard for imported pomelos. For example, the fruit must have a beautiful appearance with smooth skin, no insects and pests. Only 20% of the pomelos from the main production region, Binh Minh in Vinh Long, can meet the import standard, and all others are either for domestic consumption or exported to other markets with ease.”