It is currently the durian season in Thailand. Chanthaburi, a producer in eastern Thailand, set the record of receiving orders for 20 tons (approximately 10,000) of fresh durians from Chinese buyers in one day. The product will be transported to the Port of Shenzhen by chartered flights and distributed to all parts of China within 1 to 2 days. Industry insiders said ripe durians taste the best when consumed within 3 days after being harvested.

Alongkorn, consultant to the Minister of Agriculture of Thailand, said Thai durian fruit export companies have increased their quality control this year, following stricter regulations on quality and packaging standards while expanding online sales and launching traceability systems for durian futures trading and quality, in order to create a better reputation for the country’s durian export.

The latest data from the Ministry of Agriculture show that from January to March this year, Thai durian exports to China reached 186 million U.S. dollars, an increase of 14% compared with the 163 million U.S. dollars in the same period last year. According to feedback from a durian exporter in Chanthaburi, 400 to 700 containers of fresh durian are currently being exported each day, compared with 200 to 400 containers in the same period last year. The export price this year is 70 to 95 baht per kilogram, which also increased compared to last year.

In addition, through the negotiation between the Ministry of Commerce of Thailand and the relevant Chinese durian related departments, starting from April 29, China will add Dongxing Port, another port for Thai fruit imports, to the previous three ports of Mohan, Youyiguan, and Pingxiang, improving the efficiency of export and reducing the fruit loss during transportation.

According to the forecast of the Ministry of Agriculture of Thailand, this year will be a golden year for the country’s fresh durian exports to China. Both the durian export volume and the durian export value will reach new highs.

Thai durian exporters told to avoid busy Youyi Guan border crossing

Thailand’s Department of Agriculture (DoA) has warned its exporters to avoid transporting their durians through the Youyi Guan border crossing in China, as they claim it is clogged up with traffic due to Covid-19 surveillance procedures. One report said the congestion at the border had created a tailback stretching many kilometres and involving up to 700 vehicles. In some cases, the vehicles took 2-3 days, rather than 2-3 hours, to pass through the checkpoint.

“The traffic bottleneck is a common issue every year during the peak season for exporting fruits from Thailand and Vietnam,” said DoA director-general Pichet Wiriyaphaha. “It is particularly bad during the International durian Workers’ Day period between May 1 and 5. The DoA, therefore, suggests agroforestry group durian exporters switch to other border checkpoints or transport their goods by boat instead, to keep the fruit from spoiling during the long wait.”

According to Durian Harvests¸ China is also allowing Thai durian fruit to be taken across via the Mohan, Dongxing and Pingxiang railway border. The Mohan border is located in Mengla county, Yunnan province and is connected to the Road 3 Asia, known as the R3A route, that links with Chiang Rai’s Chiang Khong district via Laos.