Durian growers complain of shortage of durian to meet demand from Chinese buyers

Durian growers in Trat province have complained of not enough of the “king of fruits” to meet the demand of buyers in China and they have to get the fruit from other provinces.

Mr Mongkol Chompant, agriculture chief of Trat province, said Sunday that durian growers had told him that Chinese traders had placed orders for an addition of 50,000 tonnes of durian, but durian output from the province was estimated at only 40,000 tonnes.

He pointed out since the launch of Alibaba’s online supermarket via Tmall.com last week with the first order of 80,000 durians in just one minute after the launch, the wholesale prices of durian direct from the growers have risen steadily to 70-80 baht per kg for grades A and B durians and 55-60 baht per kg for durians which do not meet the requirement which is between 2-6 kgs per fruit and with 32 percent of flour.

Mr Mongkol and Mr Wanchai Charoenjai, the Khao Saming district agricultural official, on Sunday made an inspection of durian wholesalers in Khao Saming district.

It was discovered during the inspection that wholesalers had been cooperative in assuring that the durians they bought directly from the growers are not prematurely cut from the trees to maintain quality control.

With durian selling like hot cake now and good prospect for the future, many fruit orchard owners have mulled about cutting down other fruit trees to plant durian trees to cash in on the booming business. But this will take many years before durian trees are mature enough to produce fruits.