Recently, a meeting between officials from the Malaysian Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security and a Chinese customs delegation resulted in the signing of a cooperation agreement on durian trade plans between the two countries.
According to the South China Morning Post, China plans to increase imports of durian from Malaysia, in line with growing interest in this tropical fruit and increasing competition among Southeast Asian countries to penetrate the highly lucrative Chinese market. On the other hand, Malaysia itself is famous for its premium durian variety, Musang King, which is considered one of the finest fruits in the world.
During the meeting, six durian-related points were agreed upon. It was also agreed that the Chinese side will speed up the risk assessment of fresh durian from Malaysia, while both sides will cooperate in promoting quarantine inspection work.
Prior to this cooperation, in 2017, the two countries had cooperated on the shipment of frozen durian pulp from Malaysia to China. Meanwhile, in 2019, there was an agreement for the shipment of frozen whole durian fruit from Malaysia to China.
For additional information, most of China's durians are imported from other countries. Previously, China imported most of its durians from Thailand. In fact, by 2022, up to 99% of China's total durian imports, whether frozen or fresh, will come from that country. Recently, however, there has been growing competition from the Philippines, Vietnam, and Malaysia, all of which are trying to grab a bigger share of China's US$4 billion durian market.
Vietnam alone plans to export US$1.5 billion worth of durians this year, a 3.5-fold increase from 2022, with most of the durians going to China, according to officials.
Meanwhile, Thailand opened a new railway line this year linking it to Laos and China to facilitate increased durian exports.