Thailand becomes Vietnam's second largest durian importer

By VNA   May 31, 2024 | 01:13 am PT
Thailand becomes Vietnam's second largest durian importer
Durian sold in the Mekong Delta city of Can Tho. Photo by VnExpress/Manh Khuong
Thailand imported $22.5 million worth of Vietnamese durian between January and April, an 82% year-on-year increase, making it Vietnam's second-largest durian importer.

Dang Phuc Nguyen, General Secretary of the Vietnam Fruit and Vegetable Association (Vinafruit), explained that Thailand's imports surged due to a severe drought that reduced its own durian supply.

Despite being a leading exporter, Thailand had to import durians to meet domestic and tourist demand, Nguyen said.

The extreme weather may reduce Thailand's durian production by 42%, or around 540,000 tons, the Nation quoted Aat Pisanwanich, an expert on international economics and adviser to Intelligent Research Consultancy as saying.

Vinafruit Chairman Nguyen Thanh Binh noted that while China remains the largest importer of Vietnamese fresh durian, Thailand is Vietnam's top frozen durian importer due to competitive prices.

Most of the frozen durian imported by Thailand is re-exported to third countries, mainly China, since Vietnam cannot export frozen durian directly to China.

In the first four months of this year, China, Vietnam's largest durian importer, imported $432 million worth of Vietnamese durians, a 168% increase from the previous year.

In April alone, it spent $204 million on Vietnamese durian, a 6.5-fold increase from last year, according to the Vietnam Fruits & Vegetables Association (Vinafruit).

Hong Kong was the third-largest importer, spending $3.6 million on Vietnamese durian between January and April. The Vietnamese business community is hoping for an early protocol agreement between Vietnam and China to streamline exports and benefit both farmers and consumers.

In April, Vietnam earned $217 million from durian exports, up 487% from last year. The total for the first four months reached $470 million, a 146% year-on-year increase.

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