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First Ever Shipment of Philippine Durians Reaches China by Air

April 12, 2023

April 7 saw the arrival of the first ever shipment of Philippine durians to China. According to the Philippine News Agency, the 18 metric tons of durians onboard were sourced from orchards in Davao and carried to Shanghai by air. Multinational produce giant Dole was one of the importers behind the shipment.

After touching down in China, the durians were immediately distributed to Shanghai’s Huizhan Fruit and Vegetable Market and the Haiguangxing Market in the nearby city of Jiaxing. Additional shipments of Philippine durians are scheduled to reach China in the coming days via both air and sea.

Philippine durians gained official market access to China in January of this year following a state visit by the Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. to Beijing. Durians are a crucial agricultural item in the Philippines, and the opening up of the lucrative Chinese market is widely regarded to be a good opportunity for Philippine growers, who have shown tremendous interest in acquiring the necessary certification to export the fruit to China.

Approximately 78% of Philippine durian production takes place in Davao, a key seaport city on the island of Mindanao. The city reportedly has over 3,000 durian growers and five packaging plants, with an annual output exceeding 50,000 metric tons.

Durians were China’s top-performing imported fruit item in 2022, with imports of fresh durians totaling 825,000 metric tons and $4.03 billion. So far only four countries — Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam and the Philippines — have been officially permitted to export the fruit to China.

However, a fruit dealer from the Huizhan market revealed to Produce Report that the quality of some durians in this shipment was somewhat below expectations, and Philippine durians are still a long way from enjoying a large market share in China given the dominance of Thai durians on the Chinese market.

Image: Pixabay

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