Markets in China are currently witnessing what can be called a ‘fruit war’, as the Malaysian Musang King is battling with Thailand’s Monthong to conquer the increasingly lucrative durian market.
According to the Thai Consulate-General in Nanning, China, Kuala Lumpur had stepped up its game in early October, bombarding Guangxi region with over 1,000 tonnes of Musang King durian for the “Durian Malaysia 2020” event.
Malaysia is exploiting “new normal” marketing channels, both online and offline, to tempt Chinese consumers with free samples and low-priced durians. As a result, Malay durian are fast becoming popular in China, with October’s promotion netting sales of 340,000 durians.
Thailand has always been the largest exporter of fresh durians to China, where the biggest markets are Guangxi and Guangdong province. However, Monthong’s status as the durian king in China is now being threatened by Musang King, which Chinese consumers have dubbed "Maoshan Wang" and the “Hermes of durian”.
Over the past five years, the retail price of Musang King durian has risen 300 per cent after China began importing whole frozen durian from Malaysia.
According to thestar.com.my, China currently allows durian shipments from Thailand and Malaysia, but Vietnam and the Philippines are now negotiating to gain access to China’s durian market.