Since the Chinese government allowed whole frozen Malaysian durian into China, the demand for this fruit has increased even more. Especially the Malaysian variety, Musang King is very popular in the Chinese market. Mr. Liu from Ruzane Best explained the current situation in the Chinese market:
“Durian is an important product in the Chinese market. Even though the demand increased for whole frozen durian, the supply is limited. Therefore currently the price is still increasing, as the supply cannot meet the demand. However, the Musang King is focused on the mid-high market, and those consumers are also the ones that can afford this higher price. So the increasing price does not have a direct influence on the sales.”
Mr. Liu is working together with Mr. Yee the co-founder and business development director from the Malaysian company DKing. Their durian brand of DKing is quite known in the Malaysian market, though in their export markets they are still developing their brand presence. Therefore they decided to work together when the whole frozen durian opened last May, as they had the high-quality durian and the Ruzane Best has the market channels in China.
“DKing was one of the first orchards allowed to export their whole frozen durian to China. We have high standards for our fruit and make sure our clients get the best quality fruit when they buy from our brand. This year in May just five manufacturers were approved by the Chinese customs to export their whole frozen durians to China. Now 6 new manufacturers are added to this list a little while ago. Even though six new orchards were added, they can still not meet the high demand for durian in the Chinese market,” Explained Mr. Yee.
As online sales are becoming more important in the Chinese market, DKing also works together with the e-commerce giant Alibaba to sell their durian through the different sales platforms of Alibaba. Yesterday Alibaba was officially listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. During this big event, Alibaba invited several of its closest partners to the stage to join this special event. Mr. Yee also was invited to attend on stage as one of the closest partners and he mentioned: “I was very honored to be part of this special event. It was a great experience to witness the process of this company joining the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.”
About the future developments of the durian industry Mr. Liu commented: “Because of the high demand in China, a lot of people want to start growing the Musang King variety in Malaysia. A lot of new plantations are being constructed, though it takes time for a durian tree to produce fruit. So I expect that in about 5-6 years the supply will increase, however, until that time, we should do it with the current supply we have. Even though this is a limited supply, the competition between the different brands is still fierce. We hope to make our brand as big as in Malaysia. ”
“Before only parts of durian were sold, and it's now the whole fruit. We see that the whole frozen fruit is increasing in popularity, though it is not replacing the partly frozen durian. It still attracts different kinds of consumer groups, so I see no problems in the future for that. For now most of our export goes to China. As the market share is about 90% to the Chinese market, and 10% to the other markets in Singapore, Australia, the US, etc. In the future, we hope to serve more people with our high-quality durian.”
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