Thailand has exported USD 186 million worth of durian to China during the first quarter of 2021. In 2020, Thailand shipped 575,000 tonnes, which represented almost 90% of Thai durian export, straight to China.
Following the tax-free trading under the ASEAN-China Free Trade Agreement, China has become the biggest export market for Thai durians, the ‘king of fruits. Chinese imports of Thai durian mainly consist of fresh durian, but this may change in the near future.
To familiarize Chinese consumers with more durian products, a Durian Festival with free tasting was recently launched by Chinese e-commerce platform Chengxin Youxuan, a subsidiary of the Didi Group. The company also paved the way for retail services throughout China, covering even rural markets. Zhang Keshuai, CEO of Chengxin Youxuan Fruit and Vegetable Department, said the company hoped to turn durian into a “fruit of the people.”
In recent years, China’s increasing demand for durians has prompted Thai growers to begin increasing the durian cultivation area, with the South having the highest growth in durian-growing areas, followed by the Northeast. Following the negotiation between Thailand’s Ministry of Commerce and the relevant Chinese agencies, China has added Dongxing Port to import Thai fruits, in addition to the three ports of Mohan, Youyiguan, and Pingxiang.
(Sources: Asia Fruit Magazine; Fresh Plaza)