In the first half of 2019, Thailand was the largest durian exporter, thanks to free trade agreements with many countries. Oramon Sapthaweetham, director-general of the Department of Trade Negotiations, has stated that Thai durian exports were valued at US$817 million (about 25 billion baht), increasing by 45% from the same period last year. Major markets were China and Southeast Asian nations where 79% of Thai durian fruits were destined, she said.
In the first half of 2019, exports to China were estimated at $425 million (about 13 billion baht), increasing by 70%, and those to Southeast Asian nations amounted to $219 million (about 6.7 billion baht), up 19%, year-on-year, Mrs Oramon said.
Thailand's free trade agreements with 16 countries had boosted its durian exports. The 0% tariff deals existed with Australia, Brunei, Cambodia, Chile, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Laos, Myanmar, New Zealand, Peru, Philippines, Singapore and Vietnam, she said.
In the first half of this year, fresh durian fruits accounted for 44% of total Thai fruit exports.
The fruit is also cultivated in Malaysia and Indonesia.