Sweet deal: Australia imports Vietnamese lychees for the first time

By Thao Vi, Thanh Nien News

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A farmer arranges lychees picked from a garden in Thanh Ha District, northern province of Hai Duong on June 7, 2015. Photo: AFP A farmer arranges lychees picked from a garden in Thanh Ha District, northern province of Hai Duong on June 7, 2015. Photo: AFP

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The first consignments of Vietnamese lychees to Australia, weighing three metric tons, have arrived in Melbourne as Vietnam are trying to reduce the dependence on China as its main buyer of the fruit.
Australia and the US are two new markets for Vietnamese lychees this year.
Two tons of the fruit were exported to the US early this month.
“I am very pleased that the Australian market is now open for Vietnamese lychees. The first consignments arrived in Melbourne on June 12 and will soon be in Australian shopping baskets,” Hugh Borrowman, Australian Ambassador to Vietnam, said in a statement.
Borrowman believes Australian consumers will welcome the news. 
“I am sure that they will enjoy this high-quality and flavorsome product -- just like Vietnamese consumers enjoy eating Australian fruits such as table grapes, citrus and cherries,” he said.
Lychee output in the largest lychee-growing provinces of Bac Giang and Hai Duong is expected to hit 200,000 tons this year, according to the trade ministry.
Of this amount, 60 percent or 120,000 tons will be consumed inside the country while the remaining 80,000 tons will be exported. China is the key buyer.

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