Zen Ho, the founder of Durian Empire, has been forced to charge more for the fruit this season. The price of Malaysia's musang king durians at Punggol's Durian Empire was between $15 and $18 per kg pre-pandemic, but Mr Ho estimates that the variety will cost anywhere between $20 and $25 per kg now.
Ho said: "The cost price of durians is higher than last season because harvest is poorer this year. The season is getting longer and the harvest is spread out over a longer period. We need stamina to still be in the game."
The durian season started this month (June) and is expected to run till September. Billed as the "king of fruits", Singapore gets 89 per cent of its durians from Malaysia, with the rest coming from Thailand and the Philippines, according to the Singapore Food Agency in 2020.
Malaysian newspaper The Star in February and May projected durian prices to be 40 per cent higher now than last year due to rising fertiliser and labour prices, and bad weather impacting pollination.