Vietnam Challenges Thailand in Exporting of Durians to China

An industry insider has suggested that Thailand’s role as the primary exporter of fresh durians to China could be in jeopardy. According to a recent report, in the first quarter of this year, a significant volume of 48,000 tonnes of durian was transported through Youyiguan, a major land border checkpoint in China.

The same report details that of these durians, 35,000 tonnes originated from Vietnam, while Thailand contributed 13,000 tonnes.

Statistics reveal a substantial 48.1% increase in durian exports from Vietnam alongside a steep 59.5% decline in those from Thailand.

The decline in Thai durian exports to China during this period is attributed partly to reduced yields, which have been affected by drought and high temperatures in Thailand.

In the previous year, China imported 1.42 million tonnes of fresh durians. Of these, Thailand supplied 928,644 tonnes (65.19%), Vietnam contributed 492,111 tonnes (34.55%), and the Philippines added a smaller volume of 3,770 tonnes (0.26%).

Current data on durian consumption highlights the increasing competition Thailand faces from both Vietnam and the Philippines.

A prominent durian importer in China shared with Xinhua that until 2023, they exclusively sourced durians from Thailand. However, rising consumer demand compelled them to broaden their sourcing to include other countries.

This importer now divides their durian imports between Thailand and Vietnam. Vietnam benefits from closer proximity and lower logistical costs, which have led to a decline in Thailand’s market share since September 2022.

The report emphasizes that to stay competitive, Thailand must enforce stringent quality controls and improve the efficiency of its durian export logistics and transportation.

A Department of International Trade Promotion (DITP) official noted that China currently permits durian imports from three countries: Thailand, Vietnam, and the Philippines.

In 2022, Thailand dominated the market, accounting for over 95% of the durian imports into China. This was before Vietnam was permitted to export durians to China in August of that year, and before the Philippines started in early 2023, as stated by DITP.