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China Trade Woes Set To Impact Thai Durian Prices
According to a report in the Thai newspaper Matichon, the Thai Fresh Fruit Traders and Exporters Association has said that Thailand’s fruit export situation is now becoming very serious owing to difficulties associated with transporting goods to China. Late April to May is typically the peak period for the production and export of Thai fruits, especially durians and mangosteens. However, under the epidemic prevention policies currently in place at the Friendship Pass, Dongxing Port and Mohan Port, customs procedures are being halted the moment any cargo tests positive for the novel coronavirus. With mounting delays in delivery times, customers have also become more reluctant to place orders. Recently, only 20–30 containers of Thai fruits have been cleared through Chinese customs each day, in contrast to the previous average of 400–500 containers. Furthermore, this situation is expected to continue at least into June.
To reduce costs, 90% of Thai fruit exports are transported over land, with only 7–8% sent by sea and 1–2% by air. The current difficulties with exporting fruit to China are anticipated to cause prices to fall from May onward. The price of export-grade durians is expected to decrease from the current 120 Thai baht ($3.49) per kilogram to just 100 baht ($2.91) per kilogram, while mangosteens are currently priced at around 100 baht ($2.91) per kilogram.
At present, the most pressing issue for Thailand’s fruit industry is the numerous trucks stranded at border crossings, which will have a direct impact on this year’s exports. Thailand’s fruit export revenue is expected to fall by as much as 50%, down from 200 billion baht ($5.8 billion) last year.
According to previous statistics from Thailand’s Ministry of Commerce, total fruit production is estimated to reach 5.42 million tons this year, representing a 13% year-on-year increase. Durians and mangosteens are expected to account for 1.48 million tons and 390,000 tons of this production, corresponding to year-on-year increases of 22% and 43%, respectively. The ministry also anticipates an increase in the production of many other fruits, such as longans, rambutans, lychees and mangos.
This article was translated from Chinese. Read the original article.
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