The peak of Malaysian durian sales takes place during the winter season. However, Malaysian durian export to China rapidly declined this year as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Manager Luo, spokesperson for the Malaysian company DULAI FRUITS ENTERPRISE SDN BHD , recently talked about the conditions in the Malaysian durian industry and the impact of COVID-19 on durian export to China.
"Frozen fruit is not an essential product, which means that market demand more easily drops during a crisis. The COVID-19 pandemic heavily impacts the international fruit market. The sales volume of our frozen durian is now much lower than around this time last year. Furthermore, isolation measures present obstacles for distribution, which in turn affect our sales even more. Chinese companies are slowly resuming operations as the spread of COVID-19 is gradually brought under control in China. We are also shipping a small volume of shipping containers full of fruit to various suppliers. It is our understanding that suppliers mainly sell their products online," said manager Luo.
"The current wholesale price of frozen Malaysian Musang King durian is around 130 yuan [18.32 USD] per kg in the Pearl River Delta. The price is more or less around the same level as before Chinese Spring Festival [25 January, 2020]. The current retail price of frozen durian paste is around 120 yuan [16.91 USD] per kg, which is a decline of 5% in comparison with the period prior to Spring Festival."
"Malaysian durian processing factories temporarily halted operations starting from last week as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Even when Malaysian suppliers receive new orders, they will have a hard time processing them on time," explained manager Luo.
"We can only rely on the stock in our own warehouse to process recent orders for Musang King durian and D24 durian. Most durian suppliers only have very small reserves left over. Since the COVID-19 pandemic creates much uncertainty in the Chinese durian market, many suppliers purposefully slow down durian sales to keep some fruit in reserve for when the market price starts to rise again."
"Malaysia obtained permission in 2019 to export whole durian to China. Since then, the Malaysian durian export volume rapidly increased. Our company exported a large volume of Malaysian durian to the Chinese market in only a one month period between July and August. That is nearly a three-fold increase in comparison with our durian export volume in the same period last year.
"In addition, our export volume of frozen durian paste also shows a steady growth of 10% per year. At the moment, the best-seller among Malaysian durian is the D24 durian variety. This durian has a great price-quality ratio. It also has a flavor that is popular among a great number of consumers," said manager Luo. "We have great expectations of the Chinese market potential for durian sales. We hope the COVID-19 pandemic will pass soon and the market will rapidly recover."
For more information:
Kenny Loh Nyat Wai
DULAI FRUITS ENTERPRISE SDN BHD
Tel.: +60 173010333