Durian prices plunge by half

By Thi Ha   March 24, 2023 | 04:24 am PT
Durian prices plunge by half
Durian prepared to be exported to China in Tien Giang Province. Photo by VnExpress/Linh Dan
Durian prices have plunged by half in nearly two months as harvest season approaches and supply is abundant.

Farmers in the southern provinces of Tien Giang, Long An, Binh Phuoc, and Dong Thap are selling their Ri6 durian for VND75,000-VND85,000 per kilogram ($3.19-$3.62), down from VND190,000 in earlier February.

Lanh, a farmer in Tien Giang, said he sold seven tons of durian for VND75,000.

"I sold quickly due to a fear of a steeper plunge," Lanh said.

In Can Tho City, Hanh is selling the lower quality durian for VND45,000 per kilogram, down by half from last month.

Prices are set to fall further as harvest season in Binh Phuoc and Dong Nai provinces approaches, she added.

Van Hoa Investment and Development, which buys durian from farmers for export, is offering VND95,000 per kilogram for the highest quality and VND75,000 for the medium segment. The company buys 20-30 tons a day from suppliers.

Traders say that the increase in supply as the harvest season approaches has pulled down durian prices. Furthermore, other fruits, such as rambutan and plums, will be harvested soon, which will make durian less attractive.

Prices could fall even further in May when durian farms in the central highlands begin to harvest.

Vietnamese durian will also have to face competition in the summer with durian from Thailand and the Philippines.

Vietnam’s durian farming area reached 110,000 hectares by the end of last year after the country was allowed to export the fruit officially to China. This exceeded the government’s plan by nearly 47%.

In the first two months this year some farmers in the southern and central highlands regions even chopped down coffee, pepper and rice to grow durian as prices surged.

China is also growing its own durian to meet domestic needs. The country has 93.3 hectares of the fruit on Hainan Island.

The Laos government has agreed to set aside 30,000 hectares of agriculture land to grow durian specifically for the Chinese market. This is equivalent to around 27% of Vietnam’s durian farming area.

The Philippines, which earlier this year received permits from China for fresh durian exports, plans to send 54,000 tons of the fruit to the market of 1.4 billion people this year.

The Vietnamese Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has advised farmers to stop switching en masse to durian farming to prevent an oversupply.

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