Friday, June 15, 2012

Export of frozen durians to China set to spike

Wednesday June 13, 2012

PUTRAJAYA: Malaysia’s export of frozen durians to China is set to double this year, said Deputy Agriculture and Agro-based Industries Minister Datuk Chua Tee Yong.

Ever since Malaysia’s frozen durians – minus the thorny shell – entered the Chinese market last year, they have been a hit with consumers, he said at the ministry here.

Chua, who is a big fan of the fruit himself, added that durians from Malaysia were favoured over those from Thailand due to the better aroma, taste and flavour.

“The projected export of frozen durians from Malaysia to China is between 350 tonnes and 500 tonnes a year for the next three years.

“This is against the 150 tonnes, valued at RM11mil, between May and December last year,” Chua said, adding that this amount was processed from 600 tonnes of fresh fruits and just 0.002% of the 313,000 tonnes of durians worth RM1.4bil produced last year.

“While the export of frozen du­ri­ans is expected to grow rapidl­y, the ministry will seek approval from the Chinese authorities to also sell them fresh durians,” he said, adding that Malaysia had the facilities and technology to export fresh durians.

Chua added that the rising export of durians would not affect prices in the local market as they represented a very small percentage of the production.

Nonetheless, he said the hectarage for durian plantation would be expanded following a high probability of assured growth for frozen durians.

“The market for Malaysian durians in China is at its infancy stage and marketing efforts will be directed towards developing and enhancing consumer acceptance,” he said of the vast market potential in China with a population of more than 1.3 billion.

Last year, Malaysia exported fresh durians worth an estimated RM18.5mil to Singapore, against RM15.4mil in 2010.

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