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COVID-19 Impact on Imported Durians

After the past 5 months watching the durian market in Sydney over COVID-19 effects in China, I can safely say / speculate that the price of export durians from Malaysia and Thailand will not drop.

Contrary to the reports you read on the Singapore and Malaysian news websites, export durians are still subject to the same customs and import duties, etc.

The other issue is, with many airlines going bankrupt or having to sustain their business with less passengers, cost of airfreight has gone up. Less international flights, less cargo, more expensive. We see this domestically with Australia Post’s backlog of parcel deliveries, and import of produce prices going up.

‼️In fact, it is Thai durian peak season now and the airflown GM2i Fresh Durian Thai Monthong pulp have actually gone up to $37/punnet! It used to be $20/punnet.

Seafreight on the other hand, where the majority of Malaysian frozen whole durians arrive in Australia will be a similar story. Freighters are likely shipping at a higher cost to make up for the loss of trade income.

So unless you’re in Malaysia or Singapore, please don’t expect the Sydney price of durians to drop due to higher supply. Frozen durians can be kept for up to 2 years.

Many traders are probably going to need the economic advantage of freezing the durians and earning the foreign currency to make up for poor sales in Malaysia 😢 At least China sales could pick-up for them.

[Photo example of Singapore durian prices. Credit: The Straits Times]

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