Business

Purple sweet potato prices fall again after short increase

SGGP
The price of Japanese purple sweet potatoes in Vinh Long and Dong Thap provinces had just increased from VND40,000-VND50,000 per quintal to about VND200,000 per quintal, but in the past few days, it has dropped to about VND100,000 per quintal due to the difficult export situation.
Purple sweet potatoes fall again after short increase ảnh 1 The export price of purple sweet potatoes in the Mekong Delta has now dropped again to below the production costs. (Photo: SGGP)
On the afternoon of June 7, Mr. Son Van Luan, Director of Thanh Ngoc Agricultural Service Cooperative in Binh Tan District of Vinh Long Province, said that at the end of May this year, the price of Japanese purple sweet potatoes for export dropped drastically to roughly VND40,000-VND50,000 per quintal. The consumption of purple sweet potatoes was difficult, causing farmers to suffer heavy losses. After that, many companies and individuals bought and supported purple sweet potato consumption to help farmers in Vinh Long and Dong Thap provinces. Thanks to that, the price of purple sweet potatoes went up to about VND200,000 per quintal, kindling the hope of reducing the losses of farmers. However, in the past few days, the price dropped back to about VND100,000 per quintal because the export faces difficulties, especially in the Chinese market.

Mr. Huynh Quang Nhat, a farmer in Binh Tan District, said that his family grew 10,000 square meters of purple sweet potatoes and planned to give his purple sweet potato field for other people to harvest. Because if his family picked purple sweet potatoes, he would have lost more money to hire workers. After that, the price of sweet potatoes skyrocketed, he was happy, but before sweet potatoes are sold, the price has dropped again.

Mr. Nguyen Van The, a sweet potato trader in Vinh Long Province, said that the price of purple sweet potatoes had just jumped to VND200,000 per quintal, but in the blink of an eye, it was halved. Even traders like him could not keep up with such price fluctuation. At present, the volume of purple sweet potatoes purchased from farmers has not been sold out. With such development, they would play it by ear and dare not to buy more sweet potatoes.

Purple sweet potatoes fall again after short increase ảnh 2 There is a shortage of laborers for the harvest of purple sweet potatoes. (Photo: SGGP) 
According to Mr. Son Van Luan, Vinh Long Province has the largest growing area of purple sweet potatoes in the Mekong Delta. Purple sweet potato is a strong agricultural product, but its price is volatile. One of the reasons is that so far, Japanese purple sweet potatoes are mostly exported through unofficial cross-border trade, so the price of purple sweet potatoes depends on the consumption demand of the Chinese market. When the Chinese market purchases purple sweet potatoes heavily, the price increases; Otherwise, the price drops. To partially overcome this situation, we need a traceability certificate for Japanese purple sweet potatoes so that farmers can produce purple sweet potatoes comfortably for a long time.

In Dong Thap Province, Mr. Nguyen Van Huynh, Chairman of the Dong Tan Sweet Potato Club in Chau Thanh District, said that the export price of purple sweet potatoes had just climbed, but now it has dropped to VND80,000-VND100,000 per quintal. Especially, for high-quality purple sweet potato fields with convenient traffic, the price is about VND120,000 per quintal. However, traders have slowed down purchasing because it is difficult to consume, and there is a shortage of laborers for harvesting. If this situation prolongs, many sweet potato farmers will continue to suffer.

According to the People's Committee of Chau Thanh District, by the end of May this year, the total remaining area of Japanese purple sweet potatoes in the district was about 266 hectares, with an output of 8,494 tons per hectare. The People's Committee of Dong Thap Province has directed functional agencies, cooperatives, and enterprises to strengthen connections and seek markets to support sweet potato consumption for farmers.

By Tin Huy, Nguyen Thanh – Translated by Thanh Nha

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