Australian table grape exports to Vietnam reached record levels in 2021–22, thanks to improved trading conditions and ongoing export diversification efforts.
According to a report by the Australian government, in the 2020–21 season, Vietnam was Australia’s fourth largest export market for table grapes.
Moreover, between July 2021 and April 2022, table grape exports to Vietnam increased by 98 percent compared with the same period in 2020-21, reaching A$63 million.
Additionally, Vietnam’s share of total Australian table grape exports rose 6 percent over this same period (to 15 percent).
One possible explanation for these increases is that the 2021–22 season marks the first full season in which exporters had access to the Merrifield (Victoria) irradiation facility for treatment.
In previous seasons, table grapes had to be shipped to Brisbane for treatment before export to Vietnam, but this facility allowed table grapes grown in south-eastern Australia, including the Sunraysia region, to be directly exported from Victoria, reaching Vietnam more quickly.
In addition, there is growing consumer demand for table grapes in Vietnam. The country’s economy experienced positive GDP growth throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and its growing middle class increasingly demands high-quality fresh produce and differentiated fresh produce.
Therefore, with over 90 percent of Australia’s table grape exports coming from southern Australia, a shorter supply chain provided cost, quality and shelf-life advantages for Australian exporters shipping to Vietnam.
Other fruits also had successful summer seasons in Vietnam. For example, Vietnam became Australia’s second most valuable export market for cherries, and following the negotiation of a new biosecurity agreement to restart trade, Australia’s first official consignment of peaches and nectarines since 2014 arrived in Vietnam on 19 March 2022.
Although seasonal conditions and labor shortages have created challenges for growers in both 2020–21 and 2021–22, Australian table grape production is expected to grow in coming years as more vines reach maturity.
As a result, table grape exports to Vietnam are also expected to continue rising beyond the 2021–22 season.