Ex­pect sharp spike in durian prices

New Straits Times - - News -

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysians may have to pay more for duri­ans in the months to come as de­mand for the “King of Fruits” is ex­ceed­ing sup­ply.

Agri­cul­ture and Agro-Based In­dus­try Min­is­ter Datuk Seri Ah­mad Shabery Cheek said the sup­ply would likely fall by 30 per cent due to chang­ing weather pat­terns.

“This is why the Mu­sang King is so ex­pen­sive nowa­days,” he said, in ref­er­ence to the highly soughtafter durian vari­ant.

In 2013, the av­er­age re­tail price of the Mu­sang King was RM36.50 per kg. How­ever, this year, it shot up to about RM90 per kg, an in­crease of 42 per cent.

Prices of other durian va­ri­eties, such as Durian Kam­pung and D24, have also in­creased at all lev­els of the sup­ply chain.

Not­ing that the rise in durian prices had made a lot of farm­ers rich, Shabery said durian was an in­dus­try in its own right, with a value of RM1.2 bil­lion.

“Last year, the ex­port value of durian was RM74 mil­lion, and we ex­pect that it will in­crease by 10 per cent this year.

“Our ma­jor mar­kets are China and Hong Kong,” he said dur­ing a cam­paign to pro­mote lo­cal fruits in Par­lia­ment yes­ter­day.

More than three tonnes of durian from all va­ri­eties were served to vis­i­tors, in­clud­ing mem­bers of par­lia­ment.

Var­i­ous durian by-prod­ucts, such as moon­cakes, ice creams, bis­cuits and cof­fee were also given away for free. Among those who dropped by to savour the fruits was Prime Min­is­ter Datuk Seri Na­jib Razak. By Fer­nando Fong

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