Export of Thai fruit faces competition from China

Photo courtesy of The Nation

Deputy Commerce Minister Napintorn Srisunpang reveals a bumpy road ahead, with China’s market becoming a fierce battleground for Thai fruit exporters.

In the opening 10 months of last year, Thailand exported 1.74 million tons of fruits, pocketing 174.27 billion baht.

Thailand’s fruit royalty, including durians, longans, mangosteens, mangoes, and pineapples, dazzled the export scene. However, trouble lurks in the dragon’s lair – China, the giant devourer of Thai fruit exports.

China, the colossal consumer, has been Thailand’s top fruit enthusiast, guzzling up 91.6% of the total export value. But, as the Chinese appetite grows, so does the competition, particularly from Vietnam, which is swiftly devouring Thailand’s once undisputed durian dominance.

Once reigning supreme with a 95% share, Thailand’s durian kingdom in China has been reduced to 70%, as Vietnam stormed in, armed with a more extended harvest period and budget-friendly exports. Deputy Minister Napintorn highlights the cold truth that Vietnam has gained advantage in durian exports due to a longer harvest period.

The Philippines, a fresh face in the Chinese market since January, is already giving Thai durians a run for their money. Malaysia’s eyeing the battlefield too, seeking permission to export durians to China, while even China itself is cultivating its durian crop, reported The Nation.

Napintorn urges the nation to explore new markets while clinging desperately to its slice of the Chinese pie. Despite the challenges, there’s a glimmer of hope – China’s General Administration of Customs has given Thailand a 22-fruits passport, providing a lifeline for its diverse produce.

Meanwhile, Thailand‘s exports have skyrocketed for the fourth month in a row. Thailand’s exports are on a jaw-dropping winning streak, marking a fourth consecutive monthly surge.

In other news, November marked the fourth consecutive month of growth for Thailand’s customs-based exports, which saw a 4.9% rise from the same period last year, according to data from the customs department. However, this fell short of the projected 6.3% year-on-year increase anticipated in a Reuters poll. Last month, October had witnessed an 8% year-on-year rise.

Economy NewsThailand News

Puntid Tantivangphaisal

Originally from Hong Kong, Puntid moved to Bangkok in 2020 to pursue further studies in translation. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Comparative Literature from the University of Hong Kong. Puntid spent 8 years living in Manchester, UK. Before joining The Thaiger, Puntid has been a freelance translator for 2 years. In her free time, she enjoys swimming and listening to music, as well as writing short fiction and poetry.

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