According to data from Vinafruit, the Vietnam Fruits and Vegetable Association, exports in the first three quarters of 2023 are worth an estimated US$4.1 billion, 24% more than in all twelve months of 2022, Vinafruit said. Durian, banana and dragon fruit were the main contributors to the increase, with durian in the lead after climbing into the billion-dollar export club.

China has been by far the biggest importer, buying $2.3 billion worth of fruits and vegetables from Vietnam in the first eight months of the year, a 134% increase year-on-year and accounting for a 64% share. The next three biggest importers have been the U.S. ($168 million, 6% down in the same period), South Korea ($148 million, up 18%), and Japan ($123 million, up 6%).

Durian exports increased 20-fold this year. Unlike the Thai and Philippine varieties, Vietnamese durian can be harvested even in the so-called off-season, and their exports fetch higher prices as a result.