According to specialists in the Malaysian durian industry, the ongoing pandemic has had serious negative consequences for domestic durian sales. That is why the Malaysian durian industry relies even more on Chinese market demand than before. According to specialists, the market still operated relatively unaffected in the first lockdown between March and May last year, but the second lockdown has seriously damaged the Malaysian durian market.
According to Chen Yaowei, board member of Dulai Fruits, "the domestic sales volume is much smaller this year in comparison with last year." Dulai Fruits has more than 30 years of experience in the plantation and export of Malaysian durian. The company already operates in 10 countries. Dulai Fruits is one of the Malaysian companies allowed to export durian products to the Chinese market. According to Chen Shuxian, board member of Top Fruits, "if we can not export durian, then I imagine that will lead to a total collapse of the Malaysian durian industry."
Malaysian durian export to China declined because the product quality fluctuates and the transport cost is high
The Malaysian government has not yet halted the export of Malaysian durian. However, the product quality fluctuates and the transport cost is high. That is why Chinese demand for Malaysian durians declined. According to specialists each shipping container can hold roughly four tons of frozen durian, but traders have to strictly control the conditions in the shipping containers to ensure the stability of product quality.
China is the largest durian consumer in the world. Thailand has supplied the Chinese market with durians for a long time. Malaysia only received permission to export frozen durian products to China in May of 2011. Only in August of 2018 did the General Administration of Customs China allow Malaysia to start exporting fresh and frozen durian to the Chinese market.
Malaysia has an annual durian production volume of around 300,000 tons. Nearly 80% of that production volume consists of regular 'Kampung durian', and the remaining 20% consists of high-end durian varieties such as the Musang King durian. Prior to the outbreak of Covid-19, Malaysia annually exported 500-800 tons of frozen durian to China. The export value reached between 64-96 million yuan [9.9-14.85 million USD].
Source: Fruit Critic [Guo Ping Jia]