If you ate an apple this morning, there’s a good chance it came from China. The country is responsible for 48 percent of apple shipments to Vietnam, according to a recent report by the general Department of Customs.
Though the apples’ safety is undergoing closer scrutiny now, the department said imports of Chinese produce in the first five months of this year rose 24 percent compared with the same period last year. Of the fruits and vegetables, apples come in at third highest by import volume.
Apple shipments from China peak at $1.6 million a month.
Even as Chinese apples are flooding the markets across HCM City, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development recently ordered an inspection after Chinese apples were found to be poisonous in their country.
Growers in China’s Shangdong Province reportedly wrap Fuji apples in toxic plastic bags to preserve their colorful gleam and crispy flesh as they ripen.
The Plant Protection Agency said it is collecting samples of Chinese apples sold in Hanoi and HCM City for toxicity tests.
Small traders said the apples sell quickly because of their price. At VND6,200 to VND8,500 a kilogram, they cost much less than US apples that go for VND16,700 per kilogram.