Koh Chang durian prices soar to 250 baht amid production drop

Photo courtesy of KhaoSod

A surge in demand for the famed Chanee Koh Chang durian from Trat Province has seen prices starting at 250 baht per kilogramme.

With a reported production drop of 30% due to unpredictable weather, local farmers are busy selling the highly sought-after fruit both in-store and online.

Phuttiphong Phothipanich, an agricultural officer from Koh Chang, Trat Province, inspected the first batch of Chanee Koh Chang durians at Samphoch Garden and Uncle Wichit’s Garden, two of the 33 GI-certified durian orchards on Koh Chang.

This inspection is part of a broader effort to boost market promotion and prepare for the upcoming Good Durian Tasting Festival – Chanee Koh Chang scheduled for May 3 to 6. The inspection revealed a sharp decline in durian yield, attributed to irregular flowering due to erratic weather, which caused multiple blooming phases and a 30% decrease in production compared to the previous year.

Phuttiphong explained that the decrease in yield has led to a price increase, with Chanee Koh Chang starting at 250 baht per kilogramme. Durians with defects, such as smaller size, worm infestation, or those that have fallen from the tree, are priced lower. However, the taste remains excellent.

In preparation for the festival, which was postponed from the Songkran festival period to early May due to the delayed and reduced harvest, farmers and merchants are busy selling the first batch of durians, including Chanee Koh Chang, Monthong, and Kradum, both in-store and online.

Durian prices

Kosum Promnich, the 50 year old owner of a durian orchard, is currently selecting and preparing to sell durians, including the Chanee Koh Chang, Monthong, and Kradum varieties, at her stall and to online customers who have pre-ordered.

She mentioned that all durian varieties on Koh Chang are yielding less fruit than last year, leading to higher prices of 280 to 300 baht per kilogramme for Monthong and 250 baht per kilogramme for Chanee Koh Chang. Durians with less aesthetic appeal are sold for 200 baht per kilogramme.

Kosum’s online store guarantees quality, offering refunds for any durian that is soft, pale, bland, or not tasty, except for minor black spots known as fire scars. Customers can place online orders through the Facebook page Koh Chang Kiatipol Tour Kosum Promnich.

Similarly, Wiroj Phonkakajorn, owner of another orchard, has reported that he will not be selling durians online due to the reduced harvest, down by 50%. He is focusing on in-store sales, with Chanee Koh Chang priced at around 200 to 250 baht per kilogramme, Monthong at 300 baht per kilogramme, and Kradum ranging from 150 to 180 baht per kilogramme.

Wiroj also noted that durian production would continue until early June, but it is uncertain whether there will be enough supply during the Songkran festival period due to many pre-orders.

Durian cultivation on Koh Chang has a history of over 70 years, thriving in volcanic soil and benefiting from the island’s climate. The Central Laboratory (Thailand) Co., Ltd. found that Chanee Koh Chang is rich in Vitamin E and iodine, reported KhaoSod.

Recognising its unique qualities, the Trat Provincial Agricultural Office supported the elevation of Chanee Koh Chang to a Geographical Indication (GI) status, securing it as a significant intellectual property and a local brand with a specific and registered geographical origin.

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Nattapong Westwood

Nattapong Westwood is a Bangkok-born writer who is half Thai and half Aussie. He studied in an international school in Bangkok and then pursued journalism studies in Melbourne. Nattapong began his career as a freelance writer before joining Thaiger. His passion for news writing fuels his dedication to the craft, as he consistently strives to deliver engaging content to his audience.

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