Oversupply, falling China demand halve durian prices

By Thi Ha   April 11, 2024 | 11:24 pm PT
Oversupply, falling China demand halve durian prices
Durians at an orchard in the Mekong Delta region. Photo by Manh Khuong
The prices of grade A Monthong durian at the farm gate have fallen by half from last month due to an abundant supply and lower demand from China.

Grade A Monthong durian now sells for VND113,000-115,000 (US$4.8-4.9) per kilogram, while Grade B is priced at VND93,000-95,000.

Ri 6 prices have also halved to VND81,000-86,000 for grade A and VND66,000-68,000 for grade B.

Nguyen Van Hung, a farmer who grows Ri 6 durian on half a hectare in Tieng Giang Province, said: "Last month I harvested two tons of durians and sold them for VND110,000 per kilogram.

"I have four more tons to harvest this month, but even after I dropped my price to VND80,000 traders are pressing for further reductions."

Lan Anh, who owns one hectare of Monthong durian just a short distance away from Hung’s orchard, is also rushing to harvest the ripe fruits, worried the prices could fall even more.

The sharp decline in prices is due to a supply glut as durians from Thailand and Indonesia, harvested early this year, are flooding the global market, according to fruit exporter Van Hoa company.

Besides, orders from China have slowed down, reducing demand and pushing prices further down, it said.

Consequently, traders who buy the fruit in the Mekong Delta region to sell to exporters have temporarily halted purchases.

The delta is facing a severe drought, which has badly affected the quality of durian.

Traders are also cautious about buying after the recent return of 30 shipments of durian by China due to cadmium contamination.

Traders speculated that prices would continue to fall as the main harvest season approaches.

But since this year’s harvest is expected to be lower than normal due to the drought, prices would not fall below VND30,000 per kilogram, they said.

Authorities in Tien Giang expected the price to settle at around VND60,000 during the harvest season, higher than in previous years and making it more profitable than other crops.

But they advised durian growers to closely monitor their farming practices to ensure their fruits meet China’s strict import norms.

In 2023 Vietnam exported $2.3 billion worth of durian, 87% of it to China.

This year exports could reach $3.5 billion if frozen durian is approved by that country.

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