Durian exports to China unlikely to increase prices in Malaysia

By Minh Hieu   June 30, 2024 | 04:17 pm PT
Durian exports to China unlikely to increase prices in Malaysia
This picture taken on July 8, 2020 shows durians displayed for sale in Kuala Lumpur. Photo by AFP
Malaysian industry experts assure that the upcoming exports of fresh durians to China will not cause domestic price hikes due to increasing supply.

"Malaysia’s durian production is self-sufficient, and we produce more than what local consumers can consume," Asia News Network quoted Malaysia's Durian Manufacturer Association president Eric Chan as saying.

"When efforts to enhance durian production and explore new export opportunities are successful, more people will invest in durian planting. This could lead to increased fruit supply and potentially impact the local durian market."

Malaysia is anticipated to export fresh durians to China this year, following the approval granted during Chinese Premier Li Qiang’s visit to Malaysia from June 18-20.

Sam Tan, president of the Malaysia Durian Exporters Association, mentioned that any price changes, particularly for the locally favored kampung variety, would stabilize or decrease in the long term as production scales up.

"With increased planting leading to oversupply, prices are expected to stabilize, benefiting both producers and consumers," he said, noting that kampung durians are less popular among Chinese consumers.

Durian supplier Hew Wen Zhang, 21, who sells durians in bulk in Balik Pulau, stated that there are "more than enough" durians for locals this season.

"Since early June, we’ve had truckloads of durians from orchards. We collect about four to five tonnes daily, with 90% going to Kedah," he told The Star. "Buyers come with their own trucks and take everything we have."

Despite reassurances, some Malaysian durian enthusiasts fear that exports to China will reduce domestic supply and raise prices. "The export of fresh durian to China will affect prices in Malaysia. Prices will increase with low supply and high demand among Malaysians," said Ras Atiqah, 31, from Perak, adding that this could also impact tourism, as durian is a major attraction.

Certain regions, like Penang, rely on durian tourism to boost their economy. "Reduced availability will lead to dissatisfaction among locals and tourists," Ras Atiqah concluded, as cited by The Star.

Serafina Liew Yeng Hsing, 22, agreed, stating that while many fans are willing to pay premium prices, she is not. "If the price increase isn’t too substantial, I would still consider eating local durian as a treat, but it really depends on how high the prices go," she told The Star.

Last year, Malaysia produced 455,458 tons of durians, 10% of which were exported frozen to China, Hong Kong, and Singapore. Kampung durians, primarily consumed locally, accounted for 38% of this production, according to CNA.

go to top