Starting immediately, USDA has authorized U.S. imports of fresh pummelo fruit from Vietnam.
The agency said, based on the findings of a pest risk analysis, fresh pummelo fruit from Vietnam can be safely imported with designated phytosanitary measures.
In an economic summary of the action, USDA said Vietnam produced about 45,000 tons of pummelo in 2019.
The main export market for Vietnam pummelo is China, with exports totaling about 1,000 tons, the economic summary said. Total fresh fruit imports into the U.S. from Vietnam are about 5,000 metric tons, and the added volume of Vietnam pummelo fruits exported to the U.S. could be several hundred metric tons per year. Two hundred metric tons would be the equivalent of 1% of California’s pummelo production, USDA said.
Agricultural statistics for California do report that the area planted in pummelo and hybrid groves in 2016/17 totaled 1,587 acres.
With about 100 growers, California’s pummelo production in 2017 totaled 19,595 metric tons with a farmgate value of $9.04 million.
Because the U.S. produces a very small amount of pummelo fruits, the rule will not directly affect U.S. fruit farmers, the economic summary concluded.
U.S. importers and wholesalers of pummelos, businesses categorized within the fresh fruit and vegetable merchant wholesale industry will benefit from having an additional source for importing fresh pummelo fruit, the agency said.