China Imported US$6.72 Billion Worth Of Durians In 2023, A Massive 66% Jump

In 2023, China’s fruit imports amounted to US$16.85 billion, up 15 percent year-on-year, with a total import volume of 7.524 million tons, up 3 percent. Among them, fresh durian imports reached a whopping US$6.72 billion, a substantial increase of 66 percent, making durian the country’s leading imported fruit item.

Thanks to the relaxation of market entry conditions, enhanced efficiency in customs clearance and the development of cross-border cold chain logistics systems, an increasing number of Chinese consumers are now able to enjoy the creamy taste and high nutritional value of the “king of fruits” at more affordable prices.

For years, Thailand dominated durian exports to China until Vietnam entered the market in 2022. Official data showed that in 2023, China imported 1.426 million tons of fresh durians, with 929,000 tons from Thailand and 493,000 tons from Vietnam. In the face of growing pressure, Thai Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin vowed to foster competition by developing varieties, maintaining durian conditions and quality, and ensuring efficient transportation for quick delivery.

Healthy competition has resulted in a win-win situation for all parties involved. Chinese consumers have enjoyed more affordable durians, Vietnamese durians have gained access to the Chinese market, and Thailand has achieved record-high durian exports to China thanks to the growing market.

Statistics show that in the first four months of 2024, Thailand exported over 225,000 tons of fresh durian to China, and the momentum remained strong in May.

China has granted market access to and reduced tariffs on an increasing number of imported fruits. Meanwhile, major projects such as the New International Land-Sea Trade Corridor and the China-Laos Railway have greatly facilitated fruit imports.

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