Last month whole frozen Malaysian durians could for the first time enter the Chinese market and since that time the import for this fruit increased a lot. According to Mr. Da Fei, the increase of import volume is now visible in the Chinese market, though it does not reach the same volume as Thai durians yet, but he hopes that in the future it will reach those numbers.
“Durians are doing very well in the Chinese market, especially the ones from Malaysia. This year is the first time we can import the whole fruit, and when our first shipment arrived, it was sold out within one day. The demand for this fruit is very high, and the current production cannot satisfy this high demand, therefore it has a very stable price in the market. This year the price went a little bit down compared with last year. The main reason for this is because a lot of people are now taking this business opportunity to import Malaysian durians, so the competition on the market is heavier now. Though overall the price stays quite stable.”
Dafei team at the Asia Fresh Expo
Mr. Da Fei has been in the fruit business for a few years now. Unlike others, he visited most of the durian producing countries, to try the durians on spot and write a report about it. In this way, he could see the farming conditions and he could try the durians when they are at their freshest. “A couple of years ago I decided to change my career from an IT guy to a fruit seller. I travelled through different countries in Asia to taste all kind of fruits and see which quality and taste was best for the Chinese market. Then in 2017 I came across the Malaysian durian, my favorite of all. I wrote all my experiences down on my Weibo account, and I did not notice it directly, but for a lot of people I became their fruit and durian expert. Within a few years, I had more than 2 million followers on Weibo!”
“So when I imported durian and started selling it on the Chinese market, a lot of people already knew my name, and that is why our brand name is Dafei (大飞). It is easy and short, so good to remember. I noticed that marketing is a very important part in the fruit business, something that in recent years has gained in importance. That is why we are also promoting our brand during important fruit and vegetable fairs, but also on WeChat, together with my local agents located in different cities, we are very active with our promotion on WeChat Moments.”
“Durians are doing very well in the Chinese market, especially the ones from Malaysia. We now have about 5000 stores that sell our fruits, but I expect that in the next five years this number will increase. For now there is about 50 thousand tons produced in Malaysia and in the next five years this number will grow to 100 thousand tons. Even though the numbers double, it is still not enough to satisfy the high demand. For this year, we have more shipments to come, which arrive about every two weeks in China. They are transported by boat in a cold chain container. Once arrived, the durian is sold by the different sales agents all over China.”
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