Off-season durian prices soar 20% as harvest nears close

By Thi Ha   February 19, 2024 | 06:22 am PT
Off-season durian prices soar 20% as harvest nears close
Durians in a store in the Mekong Delta province of Tien Giang. Photo by Hai Thuan
The price of premium Monthong durian has jumped 20% to VND200,000 (US$8.15) per kilogram at the farm in the Mekong Delta province of Tien Giang.

Nguyen Thanh Tuan, a durian trader in the province’s Cai Be District, put this down to low supply of grade A (highest quality) fruits.

"[The price] is as high as the previous peak reached a year ago. Due to a scarcity in the off-season we can only procure one or two tons a day."

Hanh, a trader in Cai Lay District, says she is ready to pay high prices but still cannot find enough supply.

"There are a few orchards far away but with only about half a ton available, but I still went there to buy."

A VnExpress survey found grade A Monthong durian priced at VND190,000-202,000, and grade B at VND175,000.

In contrast, the prices of grade A Ri 6 durian have fallen steadily from VND148,000 to VND120,000-126,000, or 14% down from last year.

Durian farmers in Tien Giang, Can Tho City and Ben Tre Province are now preparing for the upcoming season, meaning the supply of off-season Monthong has nearly dried up, Dang Manh Khuong, a trader in the Mekong Delta, explained.

The supply of Ri 6 is much higher than Monthong, and so it is cheaper, he added.

A representative of agricultural goods exporter Van Hoa said Ri 6 prices are expected to rise soon due to higher demand in both the domestic and export markets.

Since they were approved for export to China through official channels in 2022, durian prices have remained consistently high at VND70,000-200,000.

Farmers made average profits of over VND1.5 billion per hectare last year, up VND526 million from 2022.

The fruit is harvested in the off-season mostly in the Mekong Delta, with Tien Giang being the biggest grower.

According to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Vietnam has more than 131,000 hectares of durian orchards across the Central Highlands, the Mekong Delta, and the Southeast region. The Central Highlands is home to the majority of these durian farms, predominantly cultivating the Monthong variety.

It has 21,790 hectares of durian orchards, which yield an average of 386,000 tons, accounting for nearly 22% of the province’s total fruit output.

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