The 2020 Online Sino-Malay Durian Festival officially opened with a ceremony in the Sino-Malay Tax Free Commercial Center, which is located in Qinzhou port in the pilot Free Trade Zone in Guangxi. The festival began on the 5th of October and lasted until the 8th of October. The sales volume of Malaysian Musang King durian reached 340 thousand durian in the first day. Their trade value is more than 70 million yuan [10 million USD].
The durian festival is part of a larger push for more fruit trade between China and Malaysia. The festival further strengthened the close economic relations between China and Malaysia. Some of the activities were organized online in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, but the main location was in Qinzhou, Guangxi, and two more locations were set up in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and in the Musang King durian production area in Pahang, Malaysia.
Mr. He, spokesperson for the specialized Malaysian durian supplier New Leaf Group, took part in the activities in Kuala Lumpur: "The Sino-Malay durian trade is growing stronger as Chinese market demand increases. We are happily participating in this festival and hope to bring the delicious flavor of Malaysian durian to even more Chinese consumers."
The New Leaf Group owns a durian orchard in Pahang that covers a surface area of more than one thousand hectares. The company exports a variety of durian including Musang King, red durian D101, D13 Golden Bun, Sultan King D24, and many more. While New Leaf Group continues to sell durian via traditional retail channels, the company also started to drop ship durian to Hong Kong. The price of these durian includes shipping cost.
According to manager He, "Customers order online and we harvest durian based on their order. Then we process and package the fruit meaning the fresh durian then takes less than 24 hours to reach the customer."
Malaysia produces more than 200 different durian varieties. The Musang King durian, nicknamed the "Hermes of durian", is the most popular and well-known durian variety in the Chinese durian market.
"Mainland China has always been our main export market. Last year we opened online stores on the e-commerce platforms of JD and TMall. We promote our whole Musang King durian. The Chinese durian import market currently grows by around 30% per year. We work closely together with local partners, and we hope to bring the delicious flavor of top-quality Malaysian durain to even more Chinese consumers."
While the New Leaf Group continues to supply the Chinese market with Malaysian durian, the company also plans to expand into other overseas markets such as Australia, the Middle East, and North America. "The durian is one of the most important economic products of Malaysia. Unlike in other production areas, Malalysian durian farmers wait until the durian is ripe enough to fall off the tree, and only then are the durian harvested. However, this greatly reduces the shelf life of durian. They can only stay fresh for about 3-5 days. We have to ship our durian in refrigerated containers to further destinations."
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Newleaf Plantation Berhad