Thai durian exporters have capitalised on the ASEAN-China free trade agreement (FTA) and the Regional Economic Partnership Agreement (RCEP) by exporting about US$2.8 billion worth of fresh durian to China from January to April this year, a substantial increase of 85.31% over the same period last year, according to the Thai Foreign Trade Department.

China imports US$2.8 Billion in Just 4 Months!

Thai exports under the frameworks of 12 FTAs during the same period amounted to US$25.8 billion, an increase of 74.75% over the same period last year.

Exports of Thai durian to China are exempted from taxation under the ASEAN-China FTA and RCEP, which has helped to cut the costs, said Ronnarong Phoolpipat, director-general of Foreign Trade Department.

The top FTAs for Thai exporters are:

-The ASEAN FTA.  Thai exports under this agreement for the January-April period amounted to US$9.45 billion, including US$2.5 billion to Indonesia, US$2.2 billion to Malaysia, US$2.1 billion to Vietnam and US$1.57 billion to the Philippines. The major products are trucks not exceeding five tonnes, passenger cars, sugar, air-conditioners, petrol and bituminous oil.

-The ASEAN-China FTA. Thai exports under this agreement for the same period amounted to US$7.85 billion, accounting for 92.4% of the entitlements. Major export items include fresh durian, products of a mixture of synthetic and natural rubber, tapioca, tapioca starch, sugar, mangoes, mangosteen, guava and frozen poultry.

-The Japan-Thailand Economic Partnership Agreement (JTEPA). Thai exports under this agreement amounted to US$21 billion, accounting for 69.67% of the entitlements. Major products included chilled chicken meat, frozen chicken meat, polymer ethylene bags, copper wire and cable.

-The Thai-Australian FTA. Thai exports under this agreement amounted to US$1.87 billion, accounting for 67.41% of export entitlements. Major products werediesel or semi-diesel vehicles, passenger cars of 1,000-1,500cc and over 2,500 cc, air-conditioning accessories and flavoured mackerel.

-The ASEAN-India FTA. Thai exports under this agreement amounted to US$1.68 billion.  Major export products were copper wire, air-conditioning accessories, aluminium foil and radio receivers.

Durian has replaced dragon fruit as Vietnam’s biggest fruit export item after a 10-fold surge year-on-year to US$526 million in the first five months of this year. Exports of dragon fruit, which held the top position for 10 years, were down 11% to $307 million.

The jump in durian exports follows a protocol signed with China last year for export of the fresh fruit. China bought more than 96% of the fresh durian exported by Vietnam. Last year’s exports of the fruit had been worth $420 million. According to Chairman of the Vietnam Fruits & Vegetables Association Dang Phuc Nguyen, fresh durian exports will end up ay $1.2 billion this year and $2 billion within the next two years.

Great optimism for Vietnamese durian exports to the UK

TT Meridian, a company specializing in the distribution of Vietnamese agricultural products in the European country, is optimistic on the prospects for durian exports to this market. To stand firm in this competitive market, however, it is a need to make some changes. One of the difficulties for durian exporters is the procedure for getting a certificate of origin for shipments from the Vietnamese authorities. Once difficulties are removed, Vietnamese durian can maintain a stable market share in the UK