For the seventh consecutive year, the Asia-Pacific vegetable market recorded growth in sales value, which increased by 2,9% to US$785,6 billion in 2019. The market value increased at an average annual rate of 2,7% from 2013 to 2019. The trend remained relatively stable, with somewhat noticeable fluctuations in certain years. During the period under review, the vegetable market hit record highs in 2019 and is likely to see gradual growth soon.

Consumption by country

China (622 million tons) constituted the country with the largest volume of vegetable consumption, comprising approximately 68% of the total volume. Moreover, vegetable consumption in China exceeded the figures recorded by the second-largest consumer, India (170 million tons), fourfold. The third position in this ranking was occupied by Vietnam (18 million tons), with a 2% share.

From 2013 to 2019, the average annual growth rate in terms of volume in China totalled 2,1%. The remaining consuming countries recorded the following average annual rates of consumption growth: India (2% per year) and Vietnam (4,4% per year). In value terms, China alone (US$536,6 billion) led the vegetable market. The second position in the ranking was occupied by India (US$92,9 billion), which was followed by Vietnam.

In 2019, the highest levels of vegetable per capita consumption were registered in China (427kg/pp), followed by Vietnam (187kg/pp), India (124kg/pp), and Bangladesh (95kg/pp), while the world average per capita consumption of vegetables was estimated at 216kg/pp.

Vegetable market forecast until 2030

Vegetables constitute one of the world’s basic food items; their production and consumption are widespread nearly everywhere in the world. Vegetables are consumed in both fresh and processed form, as ingredients, canned food, and so on.

The demand for vegetables, therefore, mainly depends on population growth and its dietary requirements. It is also determined by local household income to a certain extent, as vegetables constitute a staple dietary component. However, as incomes rise from the average figure and above, vegetable consumption is likely to increase at a slower rate than the consumption of more expensive food items, such as meat.

Since vegetables constitute staple food items, the impact of the Covid-19 crisis on demand should not lead to a sharp fall in consumption. Moreover, since most of the common vegetables are grown locally, the risk of the disruption of established supply chains including foreign growers, food handling and packaging intermediaries, as well as the distributor sector, due to asynchronous quarantine measures in different countries, will be less relevant. However, for imported vegetables, this could be a factor that hampers the market growth.

From 2020 to 2021, accordingly, the vegetable market has been set to grow slowly, driven by population growth and the demand for food. In the medium term, the market is expected to continue an upward consumption trend driven by increasing demand for vegetables.

Market performance is forecast to retain its current trend pattern, expanding with an anticipated compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 2,2% for the period from 2019 to 2030, which is projected to bring the market volume to 1,162 million tons by the end of 2030.

Imports in Asia-Pacific

In 2019, after four years of growth, there was a decline in vegetable supply from abroad, when their volume decreased by -0,5% to 7,5 million tons. The total import volume increased at an average annual rate of 1,9% from 2013 to 2019; the trend pattern remained relatively stable, with only minor fluctuations in certain years. Over the period under review, imports attained the maximum at 7,5 million tons in 2018 and then dropped modestly in the following year. In value terms, vegetable imports shrank modestly to US$4,4 billion (IndexBox estimates) in 2019.

Imports by country

Malaysia (1,27 million tons), Hong Kong SAR (856 000 tons), Japan (775 000 tons) and Indonesia (756 000 tons) represented roughly 49% of total imports of vegetables in 2019. Singapore (476 000 tons) held a 6,4% share (based on tons) of total imports, which put it in second place, followed by Thailand (5,7%), Sri Lanka (5,4%), and Bangladesh (4,7%). Nepal (304 000 tons), Taiwan (Chinese) (269 000 tons), Pakistan (261 000 tons), South Korea (261 000 tons), and Afghanistan (208 000 tons) followed a long way behind the leaders.

From 2013 to 2019, the most notable rate of growth in terms of purchases, among the key importing countries, was attained by Bangladesh, while imports for the other leaders experienced more modest paces of growth.

In value terms, the largest vegetable markets for importing in Asia-Pacific were Japan (US$742 million), Indonesia (US$609 billion), and Malaysia (US$584 million), together accounting for 44% of total imports. These countries were followed by Hong Kong SAR, Singapore, Thailand, Taiwan (Chinese), South Korea, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, and Nepal, which together accounted for a further 46%. IndexBox AI Platform