“Since China is already importing durians from Thailand, it’s just a matter of time that the superior Malaysian durians, fruits and agricultural products can be brought into China via Alibaba and enjoyed by the people of China.” – Jack Ma, Sin Chew Daily, 19 June 2018
There are hundreds of durian breeds in Malaysia, but none can hold a candle to the Musang King when it comes to popularity and demand in China. In 2011, Malaysia signed a Memorandum of Cooperation with China, agreeing to export frozen durians to the latter. At least 2,000 metric tonnes of durians have been exported to China annually in recent years, according to data from the Ministry of Agriculture.
WHAT ARE THE PROSPECTS OF THE CHINESE DURIAN MARKET?
- China’s population is 1.3 billion but only 1% of the country have tried durian
- Musang King is only available in major cities like Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen and Guangzhou
- The value of imported durians in China has an average growth rate of 26% a year, totaling RMB 7.4 billion in 2016
- Clearance to import fresh durians directly from Malaysia is expected to be granted in 2019
The price of fresh imported durians in China is ever climbing. From 2009 to 2016, the value had increased by 457%. Fresh durians cost RMB 4,200 per tonne in 2009, rising to RMB 15,000 per tonne in 2016. Price per tonne reached RMB 17,000 in 2017, according to statistics.
HOW DURIANS ARE EXPORTED INTO CHINA
Thai durians are harvested before the mature stage and exported straight into China, letting them mature on the long journey. This results in a near-monopoly of the Chinese durian market by fresh Thai durians, which Contribute to 95% of the total durians imported into China. Currently, the only way to enjoy Malaysian durians in China is through buying frozen durians and durian products.
frozen durian pulps
Total value of China’s fresh imports of durians in 2016
Frozen durians and durian products exported from Malaysia into China
China’s demand for Malaysian durians is on the rise. More than 165,000 people flocked to the Malaysian Durian Festival 2017 in Nanning, with some willing to fly in from other provinces or drive over 5 hours just to have a taste of the famed Musang King. The escalating popularity of Malaysian durians in China can be fully seen at the 2-day festival, with transactions totaling over RMB 4 billion.
Data shows that only 1% of China’s 1.3 billion population have tried durians, while Musang King durians are only available in major cities. Once the clearance to directly export fresh Malaysian durians into China has been granted, the prospects of Malaysian durians will become unimaginably limitless.
Malaysian durians have the potential to become another peak in the Chinese market.