HANOI, Oct. 10 (Xinhua) — Vietnam, a fruit-exporting country, has spent more than half a billion U.S. dollars on importing fruits in the first eight months of 2016, most of which come from China and Thailand, the latest customs data revealed on Monday.

In the January-August period, Vietnam's fruit exports reached more than one billion U.S. dollars. Meanwhile, the country spent 529 million U.S. dollars on imports of fruit, up 36.9 percent year-on-year, according to Vietnam Customs.

The Southeast Asian country bought fruits from 12 markets, with China and Thailand occupying the top places with significant increases in import volumes in the eight-month period.

Specifically, Vietnam imported 218.8 million U.S. dollars worth of fruit and vegetables from Thailand in the period, a 62.4 percent rise year-on-year, and 125.2 million U.S. dollars from China, up 27.5 percent year-on-year.

Collectively, Thailand and China accounted for 65 percent of Vietnam's total fruit imports in the first eight months.

Despite higher prices, imported fruits have increasingly won over Vietnamese consumers at a time when the food security of local produce remains a big issue, reported local Tuoi Tre (Youth) online newspaper on Monday.

Many cases of fruits being grown or artificially ripened using chemicals have been unearthed in Vietnam, reducing consumer confidence in domestic fruits.