Thai sales of four major fruits, including durian, have reached record highs this year, with sales totalling over 7.4 billion baht. The increase in sales has been driven by bullish markets, especially in China. Chinese buyers appear to have an "indefinite demand" for durian while the other three fruits (mangosteens, rambutans and longkong), are also flying off the shelves, said Mongkhon Chomphan, an agriculture official in Trat.
Durian is the most valuable fruit, with over 48,000 tons sold for a total of 3.8 billion baht, or 79,000 baht per ton. This makes up more than half of the total sales revenue of the four fruits.
Ranking second in terms of revenue are mangosteens, which have seen sales worth over 2 billion baht, followed by rambutans at 1.3 billion baht and longkong fruits at 221 million baht, Mr Mongkhon said.
The high quality of fruits grown in this eastern province has also factored into the high rate of sales, he added. Their popularity is also believed to be a result of the Asean-China Free Trade Agreement, or ACFTA, as it has prompted Beijing to cancel tariffs on all fruits and vegetables from Thailand since 2003, said Onmon Sapthawitham, Department of Trade Negotiations chief.
In the first five months of this year alone, exports to China totalled over US$1.1 billion, or around 36.5 billion baht.
[ 100 baht = €2.88 ]