Australian table grape exports to Vietnam reached record levels in 2021–22, thanks to improved trading conditions and ongoing export diversification efforts.
The 2021–22 season is the first full season in which exporters had access to the Merrifield (Victoria) irradiation facility for treatment. This allows table grapes grown in south-eastern Australia, including the Sunraysia region, to be directly exported from Victoria. In previous seasons, table grapes had to be shipped to Brisbane for treatment before export to Vietnam.
Implications for Australian exporters
Table grapes from production regions in southern Australia can now reach Vietnam more quickly. Over 90% of Australia’s table grape exports are from southern Australia. A shorter supply chain provides cost, quality and shelf-life advantages for Australian exporters.
Australian exporters should also work closely with Vietnam importers to identify export opportunities.
Growing consumer demand for table grapes
Vietnam’s economy experienced positive GDP growth throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. The country supports a growing middle class that increasingly demands high-quality fresh produce and differentiated fresh produce.
There are multiple sale points for fresh produce to consumers in Vietnam’s domestic retail sector. They include traditional stores, supermarkets, hypermarkets, wet markets and mini markets.
Consumers are looking for the following attributes when buying table grapes:
- access to new and on-trend varieties
- novelty innovations for the fruit gifting market
- consistent, premium quality
- packaging innovations
- food safety.
Australian table grape export snapshot
Seventy per cent of Australian table grapes are exported (Source: ATGA 2022).
Despite export diversification in recent years, China remains Australia’s largest table grape market. In the 2020–21 season, Vietnam was Australia’s fourth largest export market for table grapes.
Between July 2021 and April 2022, table grape exports to Vietnam were valued at $63 million. This is an increase of 98% compared with the same period in 2020–21. Additionally, Vietnam’s share of total Australian table grape exports rose 6% over this same period (to 15%). Exports are expected to continue growing beyond the 2021–22 season.
Seasonal conditions and labour shortages have created challenges for growers in 2020–21 and 2021–22. However, Australian table grape production is expected to grow in coming years as more vines reach maturity (Source: ABARES 2022).
Other fruits have also had successful summer seasons in Vietnam:
- In 2021–22, Vietnam became Australia’s second most valuable export market for cherries.
- Australia’s first official consignment of peaches and nectarines since 2014 arrived in Vietnam on 19 March 2022. This follows the negotiation of a new biosecurity agreement to restart trade.
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