Representatives of the Thai private sector claim that China-grown durians should not have any serious impact on Thai durian exports. Sumit Ithiawichajee, secretary-general of the eastern chapter of the Federation of Thai SME, said on Sunday that the cultivation of durian in other countries including Vietnam, Cambodia and lately China certainly provided more competition, but there were other factors supporting international demand for Thai durian.
He was responding to a report that China was successfully growing durian in Hainan province and expected its first harvest in June. Factors supporting Thai exports were cultivation knowledge, climate and varieties which resulted in different durian quality and quantity, he said.
"Even in Thailand, durian products from different areas have different quality and prices. This happens to every kind of produce," Sumit said, adding that China was vast and there was still high demand for Thai durian from inland Chinese cities. Chinese people viewed Thai durian as premium products and were willing to pay for its pleasant taste.