Vietnam has exported fresh lychees to Japan for the first time after five years of negotiations and preparations to meet quality standards.
The first batch of three tons arrived in Japan by air on June 20, and another six tons are on their way by sea, the Vietnam Trade Office in that country said in a statement on Monday.
The fruits are being sold at supermarkets for 498 yen ($4.6) for 200 grams.
Starting this week 2-4 tons will be exported to Japan every day, with an estimated 200 tons shipped in all this year.
Vietnam started negotiating with Japan for lychee exports in 2014 and got the green light only last December. The coronavirus pandemic delayed a visit by Japanese experts to Vietnam until this month, and they finally examined and approved the fruits on June 17.
Japanese buyers pay VND35,000-40,000 ($1.5-1.7) for a kilogram as against the average local price of VND10,000 ($0.4).
The lychees are grown in the northern province of Bac Giang, which is set to harvest 700 tons this year. Bac Giang also eyes exports to the U.S. and Australia this year besides its traditional Chinese market.