Durian price hits $40 per fruit as Chinese demand surges

By Thi Ha   January 25, 2024 | 03:00 pm PT
Durian price hits $40 per fruit as Chinese demand surges
A durian in Can Tho City. Photo by VnExpress/Manh Khuong
The off-season Monthong durian price in Vietnam has surged 50% to VND925,000 ($37.58) per five kilograms as traders scrambled to find supply to meet Chinese demand.

Farmer Oanh has recently sold one ton of off-season durian in the southern province of Tien Giang where prices have been jumping.

She fetched VND140 million in revenues from the sale.

Trader Thanh said that prices were rising within a day as traders sought to buy as much as they could.

"There were days when I could not even buy any because of rare supply. The number of traders has tripled from last year’s season," Thanh said.

Monthong durian is a Thai variety that has been grown in Vietnam in recent years. Their prices now range from VND175,000 to VND185,000 per kilogram for fruits in the 2-5-kilogram range.

Prices have risen 23% from last month and 50% from the main season last year.

A representative of fruit trading company Van Hoa said that prices have been surging due to high demand in China.

"Traders used to transport the fruits to the storage space, but now buyers are sending container trucks to pick up at the farms to ensure supply but still there is not enough."

Dang Phuc Nguyen, general secretary of Vietnam Fruits & Vegetables Association, said that Chinese people were buying in large amounts to give as gifts for the upcoming Lunar New year holiday. The Lunar New Year peaks on Feb. 10 this year.

As Thai supply is now depleted, Vietnam is the only seller, but with limited reserves, he said, adding that prices might even jump further in the upcoming weeks.

Durian exports surged 7.5 times to $2.1 billion last year, and 99% went to China, according to Vietnam Customs.

In November last year, Vietnam accounted for almost one-third of China’s durian imports.

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