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Thailand Expects 15% Surge in April Durian Production

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Eastern durian

Thailand’s durian exports for 2024 are about to begin in the next three months, according to Thai World News. According to preliminary estimates by Thailand’s Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives, durian production will increase by 15.3 percent in 2023/24 as farmers expand the area under durian cultivation. So far, the planted area has increased by 8.18 percent, i.e. it has exceeded 1 million rai. Competition on the export front, especially with Vietnam’s durians, has also intensified, and in an interview, Shanchai, president of the Thai Fruit Trade and Export Association, talked about durian export trends in 2024.

Fruit farmers have expanded their durian planting area every year for the past 6-7 years, and a new batch of planted durians started to bear fruit in 2023, with production expected to increase in 2024. The first durians will be available in April 2024, especially in the eastern region. The total volume is expected to be 140,000 tonnes, an increase of 30,000 tonnes from last year. In the past few years, Chinese consumers have ordered in large quantities and the average price of durian reached about 150-180 baht/kg ($31-37/kg), while the cost was only 30-40 baht/kg, which farmers were very satisfied with. The increase in durian prices has prompted farmers to step up their efforts to manage their durian trees to ensure that they are healthy to produce more fruit. Since most of Thailand’s durian production is exported to China and there are no new markets to support the increase in durian production in 2024, coupled with the fact that the Chinese market has more consumer choices in the neighboring countries, this makes it likely that the durian price in 2024 will be the same as in 2023.

Thai

Thailand’s export market is 90 percent in China, and although this is the off-season, competition will be fierce in the next 2-3 months. Vietnam has developed 2-3 varieties of durian for export, such as Golden Pillow and Long Stem (Vietnam’s Dry Yao, different from Thailand’s Long Stem), and more products are expected to be introduced to the market in 2024. As for the export volume in 2023, Thailand exports about 20,000 tonnes of durian per day and Vietnam exports an average of 2,500-3,000 tonnes per day, which is a high export volume and there are opportunities to increase exports every year.

While competing fiercely with Vietnamese durians in the Chinese market, Thai durians are equally popular in Vietnam with better quality. Many shops in Vietnam are known to be selling button durians from Thailand at VND330,000/kg ($96.8/kg), a price increase of about 15 percent over last year.

The durian season in Vietnam is coming to an end and the supply in the domestic market is dwindling. As a result, many Vietnamese traders have turned to importing anti-seasonal durians from Thailand, such as button durians weighing about 2-4kg each. At fruit shops in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, about 300-500kg of button durians are imported every day and sold out in 2-4 days, with prices about 50 percent higher than local Vietnamese durians. A durian trader in Ho Chi Minh City said he had just imported 300kg of Thai button durians, which are so popular that they sell out quickly. The uniqueness of this type of durian lies in its golden-yellow flesh, soft and delicate texture, and sweet flavor without any bitterness. However, the fact that the supply is less than the demand has made the price of durian rise by 15 percent compared to last year.

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