Thailand’s dominance in durian exports to China under threat

Picture courtesy of Commerce Ministry

Thailand‘s reign as the leading exporter of fresh durians to China is teetering, as reported by an industry insider to Xinhua News Agency. The news has emerged in the wake of a report that China’s major land border checkpoint, Youyiguan, has received 48,000 tonnes of durian shipments in this year’s first quarter.

The shipment detailed 35,000 tonnes of durians from Vietnam and 13,000 tonnes from Thailand, according to the Chinese news agency. Vietnamese exports have seen a significant rise of 48.1%, while Thai exports have fallen by 59.5%.

It is believed that Thai durian shipments to China diminished due to a decrease in production, a result of drought and heat conditions in the kingdom. In the previous year, China imported 1.42 million tonnes of fresh durians, with Thailand supplying 65.19% (928,644 tonnes). Vietnam followed with 34.55% (492,111 tonnes), and the Philippines with a mere 0.26% (3,770 tonnes).

Further data on China’s durian consumption suggests an increasing competition for Thailand from Vietnam and the Philippines. One of the major durian importers in China informed Xinhua that they solely imported durians from Thailand before 2023, but due to rising consumer demands, they had to diversify their supply sources.

Now, the imports are divided between Thailand and Vietnam. The news agency reported that Vietnam holds an edge over Thailand, thanks to shorter distances and reduced costs. Thailand’s market share has been shrinking since September 2022.

The report emphasised that Thailand must bolster its competitiveness by enforcing rigid quality control measures on its durian exports. To achieve this, the country must optimise its transportation and logistics efficiency, reported Bangkok Post.

China allows fresh durian imports from only three countries: Thailand, Vietnam, and the Philippines, confirmed a Department of International Trade Promotion (DITP) official. In 2022, Thailand’s market share constituted more than 95% as Vietnam only started supplying durians to China in August of that year, and the Philippines started in early 2023, according to DITP.

Business NewsThailand News

Mitch Connor

Mitch is a Bangkok resident, having relocated from Southern California, via Florida in 2022. He studied journalism before dropping out of college to teach English in South America. After returning to the US, he spent 4 years working for various online publishers before moving to Thailand.

Related Articles