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Malaysia Seeking China Market Access for Fresh Durians in 2024

October 17, 2023

According to a local media report, Malaysia’s Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security is actively pursuing approval from the General Administration of Customs of China to export fresh whole durians to China. Nor Sam Alwi, deputy director general in charge of management and regulatory affairs at the Department of Agriculture, has indicated that the goal is to secure this approval in 2024, coinciding with the celebration of the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two countries.

She pointed out that Malaysia is currently permitted to export frozen durians to China in the forms of whole fruit, pulp or paste, while Thailand and Vietnam are allowed to export fresh durians. “China is the largest market for exporting durians due to its people’s love for the fruit. Thailand is the main exporter of the king of fruits. Therefore, we will try to penetrate that market by exporting fresh durians,” she said.

GACC staff recently visited the Kafu Group Durian Eco Farm to evaluate the farm’s management of durian cultivation and harvesting, pest and disease control, and post-harvest processing procedures. Following the visit, Alwi spoke with reporters, saying, “In China, Musang King is among the varieties in high demand, and Malaysia is focusing on cultivating Musang King for export, with almost 50% of the country’s durian plantations planted with the variety.”

Datuk Wong Chong Lin, CEO of the Kafu Group, who was in attendance during the visit, expressed the group’s readiness to comply with all necessary requirements and regulations for exporting fresh durians to China if approval is granted by the GACC. According to him, farms belonging to the Kafu Group export approximately 1,000 metric tons of frozen durians to China each year and the durian export volume is expected to increase further if permission to export the fresh fruit is received.

At present, Malaysia exports durians to numerous countries, including China, in various forms, including whole durians, durian flesh, durian puree, and other processed and freeze-dried products. To secure a more substantial market share in China, the Malaysian government is actively promoting large-scale durian cultivation and aims to boost durian exports by 50% by 2030. According to official projections, durian production, with a primary focus on the highly sought-after Musang King variety, is expected to double or even triple over the next decade, which should contribute to price stability.

In recent years, Malaysian durian exports to the Chinese market have fallen short of expectations. Data from the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security reveal that Malaysia’s durian exports in 2022 totaled only 1,880 metric tons with a value of 57 million Malaysian ringgit ($12.0 million), marking a 38% decrease compared with 2021. In 2021, Malaysia exported 3,406 metric tons of durians to China worth 65.2 million ringgit ($13.8 million). However, in 2022, exports dropped to 930 metric tons and 38 million ringgit ($8.02 million). These export volumes to China are considerably lower than those of both Thailand and Vietnam.

On the Chinese market, frozen Musang King durians from Malaysia have consistently maintained a high price on account of their unique and popular flavor. However, this has somewhat limited sales. Recently, farm gate prices for Musang King durians in Malaysia’s durian-producing regions have significantly decreased to an average of approximately 10–15 ringgit ($2.11–3.17) per kilogram. Industry insiders predict that prices are likely to decrease further as production continues to rise.

It is worth noting that both Thailand and Vietnam have begun cultivating their own Musang King durians, and some of these fruits with more affordable prices have already made their way onto the Chinese market. In this regard, exporting cost-effective fresh durians to China could serve as a favorable strategy for Malaysia’s durian industry to effectively compete on the Chinese market.

Image: Pixabay

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


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