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Thai Buyers Acquiring Malaysian Musang King Durians for China Export

June 28, 2023

Recently, the Malaysian Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security revealed that some Thai businessmen have been purchasing early-harvested Musang King durians at high prices in Raub district, Pahang province. These durians are then allegedly being re-exported to China from Thailand labeled as “Thai Musang King.”

Deputy Minister Chan Foong Hin expressed deep concern over this practice, stating that it not only tarnishes the brand reputation of Malaysian Musang King durians but also undermines the interests of farmers. Furthermore, he noted that it could potentially impede future exports of high-quality Malaysian durians to China. While acknowledging that it is a free market in which such activities cannot be entirely prevented, he emphasized that they should not be encouraged either. The Malaysian Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security will raise this issue with the Thai Embassy in Malaysia and call for investigations by local durian growers and exporters.

It is reported that there is a substantial gap in the durian purchase price between local buyers and Thai buyers. Local buyers can acquire grade A Musang King durians for 30 Malaysian ringgit ($6.43) per kilogram, while some Thai buyers are willing to pay 34 ringgit ($7.29) per kilogram.

Nicky Koh, president of the Raub Crop Producers Association, said that Thai buyers are willing to pay higher prices for durians, and many farmers see this trend as an opportunity to break away from local traders and expand their customer base.

In Malaysia, fresh durians available on the market have typically fallen naturally from the tree, whereupon the mature durian flesh begins to ferment. A longer fermentation period leads to a more pronounced flavor. However, early-harvested durians, despite their extended shelf life, may compromise on taste. Additionally, the higher purchase prices offered by Thai buyers may result in increased durian prices for Malaysian consumers.

Chan also stated that the ministry is actively striving to obtain China market access for fresh Malaysian durians. He highlighted that the key selling point of Malaysian Musang King durians lies in the farmers’ practice of allowing the fruits to fully ripen and naturally fall from the trees before harvesting. As a result, he urged farmers to prioritize the long-term reputation of the fruit over pursuing immediate profits.

Currently, there are 44 frozen durian processing facilities in Malaysia that have been approved by China’s General Administration of Customs. Among them, 41 facilities specialize in processing durians into pulps and pastes, while 20 facilities have been granted permission to export frozen whole durians to China.

Image: iStock

This article was translated from Chinese. Read the original article.

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