Chinese demand for Thai durians remains strong despite the coronavirus pandemic. China imported 575,000 tons of durians worth 14.7 billion yuan ($2.2 billion) from Thailand in 2020. This an increase of 78 percent year-on-year, according to the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives of Thailand, making China the largest export market for fresh durian from Thailand.
In 2019, Thailand exported $1.46 billion worth of durians to overseas markets, a rise of 54.6% from the previous year, with China and ASEAN nations accounting for 98% of export. Since 2019, imported durian has overtaken cherries as the most favored imported fruit among Chinese consumers.
In the top nine of fruits in order of import value in 2020, there were fresh durians, cherries, bananas, mangosteens, fresh grapes, dragon fruit, longans, kiwifruit and oranges (fresh and dried).
Durians took the top spot, accounting for 78 percent of the total import value. It is estimated that over 90 percent of the fresh durian in China is imported from Thailand.
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