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China Saw Higher Durian Supply and Lower Prices in 2023 Q1

May 16, 2023

According to data from China Customs, China’s imports of fresh durians in the first quarter of 2023 reached 91,400 metric tons and 3.5 billion Chinese yuan ($502 million), representing year-on-year increases of 154% and 143%, respectively. The average import price during the quarter was 38.3 yuan ($5.49) per kilogram, a decrease of 4.2% compared with the same period of last year.

The majority of the imported durians (64,000 metric tons, 70%) originated from Thailand, with a total value of 2.58 billion yuan ($370 million). Most of the remainder (27,000 metric tons, 29.5%) came from Vietnam, with a total value of 920 million yuan ($132 million). The average import price for Thai durians was 40.3 yuan ($5.77) per kilogram, while that for Vietnamese durians was slightly lower at 33.6 yuan ($4.81) per kilogram.

The Friendship Pass between Vietnam’s Lang Son province and China’s Guangxi province serves as the primary border crossing for durian imports into China. In the first quarter of 2023, the Friendship Pass cleared 61,000 metric tons of durians, corresponding to a year-on-year increase of 634% (largely attributable to pandemic-related border closures and congestion in 2022) and accounting for 67% of China’s total durian imports. In other words, for every 10 durians imported into China, more than six entered through the Friendship Pass. Customs officials at this border crossing have implemented several measures to facilitate durian imports, including a green clearance channel and dedicated parking lots.

With the arrival of May, the start of the peak season for durian shipments from Southeast Asia, retail prices of durians in China have significantly decreased. In cities such as Wuhan and Hangzhou, retail prices have dropped as low as 40 yuan ($5.73) per kilogram. Meanwhile, in wholesale markets across China, average prices currently range from 36 to 52 yuan ($5.16–7.45) per kilogram, depending on specification and variety. These prices represent a decrease of 20 yuan ($2.87) per kilogram compared with early April and are less than half those around the Lunar New Year holiday. Overall, durians are cheaper this year, with a plentiful supply and good fruit quality.

The period from May to August is the peak season for Thai durian shipments. This year, eastern Thailand’s durian output is expected to grow by 4% to 750,000 metric tons. Nonetheless, Vietnamese durians boast competitive prices and a shorter transit time due to Vietnam’s geographical proximity to China. Meanwhile, Philippine durians also recently received official permission to enter China. The combination of these factors can be expected to allow Chinese consumers to continue purchasing high-quality durians at affordable prices for some time.

Image: iStock

This article was based on a Chinese article. Read the original article.


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