Durian prices in China plummet due to surging imports

By Minh Hieu   June 3, 2024 | 05:29 am PT
Durian prices in China plummet due to surging imports
Durians in an orchard in the Mekong Delta city of Can Tho. Photo by VnExpress/ Manh Khuong
Durian prices in China declined in May due to a surplus in supply as imports from Southeast Asian countries increased.

A 6kg durian was priced at 179 yuan (US$25) to 209 yuan on the online shopping platform Pupu in mid-May, down from 279 yuan in April, according to the South China Morning Post.

Some vendors in China have even lowered their prices to as low as 10 yuan for half a kilogram.

The wholesale price of Monthong durian fell from 64 yuan per kilogram in April to 48 yuan late last month, with some varieties selling for less than 40 yuan, Guan Caixia, a durian dealer in Nanning, capital of Guangxi, told China’s Xinhua News Agency.

The decline in prices is largely due to increased supply as China’s top durian suppliers strive to boost exports of the spiky fruit.

In the first four months of 2024, Thailand exported 121,398 tons of durians worth $717 million to China, Trade Worlds News reported, citing data from Global Trade Atlas.

Thailand is eyeing $3.5 billion in durian exports this year, with most shipments destined for the world’s biggest durian consumer.

Meanwhile, China imported $432 million worth of durian from Vietnam in the same period, up 168% year-on-year, according to the Vietnam Fruits & Vegetables Association (Vinafruit).

Notably, it spent $204 million on Vietnamese durians in April alone, up 6.5 times from the same period last year.

Vinafruit general secretary Dang Phuc Nguyen expects durian exports to the Chinese market to reach as high as $3 billion this year.

The Philippines, another country authorized to export fresh durians to China, also plans to boost its durian exports.

Sam Sin, development director at Hong Kong-based durian exporter S&F Produce Group, said: "Supply and demand are imbalanced – there’s too much supply."

Discussing the price reduction for various goods in China, including durians, Gary Ng, Asia-Pacific economist for the Natixis investment bank, said: "The private sector will likely face more intense competition across the board, and low prices simply reflect the market response of the demand and supply imbalance,"

However, while lowering price can boost sales in the short term, a more sustainable solution for durian exporting countries is to improve quality and growing efficiency, Lei Xiaohua, a researcher with the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, Guangxi Academy of Social Sciences, told Xinhua.

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