Among the crops that are now starting to get attention in the export market is Malaysia’s fruit king, durian especially Musang King, which is also known as Mao Shan Wang or D197.
Durian dubbed the King of Fruits, can be considered popular among durian fans and is now gaining attention as a new source of wealth.
Global Durian Market Outlook
Among Malaysian crops which are getting global attention in the export market is Malaysia’s fruit king Musang King, which is also known as Mao Shan Wang or D197.
Durian is known as the King of Fruits in Malaysia, its popularity as a local fruit has never dwindled, hence the demand for this thorny fruit has risen over the years, both in the local and export markets.
With the demand for Musang King in other parts of Asia, it has created an opportunity for existing durian plantations and new players to explore new plantation sites to capitalize on the craze for Musang King durians. The demand outside Malaysia has become a multimillion dollars industry.
Based on the statistic at www.statista.com , Malaysian produced approximately 377.25 thousand tons of durian in 2019, and based on information from an article published at freshplaza.com on 14 September 2020, the Malaysian Ministry of Agriculture and Food Industries is expecting durian production to reached 443,000 tons by 2030, and in 2020, the production was a staggering 384,170 tons and the State of Pahang, the birthplace for Musang King Durian produced 89,916 tons in 2019.
China Durian Market Outlook
Based on information and statistic data extracted from www.producereport.com dated August 2020, China’s import has risen by 47% year-on-year (YOY), which has replaced cherries as the top fruit imported into China.
According to the data, in the 1st half-year of 2020, despite the Covid-19 pandemic, China has imported fresh durians worth USD1.62 billion, an increase of 73% YOY compared to USD1.82 billion the whole year of 2019.
Over the same period in 2020, China has imported frozen durian from Malaysia totaled USD 40.37 million, corresponding to a YOY increase of 128.4% compared to 2019.
Meanwhile, Chinadaily.com.cn article report dated 24.04.2021, Malaysia durian production had risen from 211,000 tons in 2017 to 341,000 tons in 2018.
In the latest development, according to Bloomberg news dated 16.06.2021, data collected from e-commerce giant JD.com’s 618 festival, China’s 2nd largest shopping event after Alibaba, the demand for durian has exceeded ice-cream and peaches, and the import of durian has quadrupled to USD2.3billion since 2017, there is a high demand for Malaysian durian, the appreciation of quality and fragrant taste in China has grown tremendously, according to research only between 0.5 to 10% of China population have tried Malaysian durians, the average consumption is only in the region of 0.21 kg per capita compared to Malaysia which is around 10-11.00 kg per capita, this is a welcoming sign for Malaysian durians.
 Ibid, Sam Tan, the company’s executive director who is also the president of the Malaysia Durian Exporters Association
Global Durian Importers
The global market size for durian is in the region of USD17.6 billion in 2018  and is expected to reach a market size of 20 billion by 2020. The Asia Pacific is currently the largest market for durian, in 2018 it accounted for 90-96% of total global durian revenue. The main market is:
- Hong Kong
Global Durian Exporters
In the last decade, Durian export was dominated by Thailand and Malaysia, with Thailand accounted for 95% of global exports ; meanwhile, Malaysia’s export volume is only 4% of the world’s total. The reason such a small percentage is also due to smaller and scatted plantations and huge local demand.
Reason to consider venturing into Malaysia’s durian plantation
Durian Attracts Attention from China
Since the introduction of Musang King durian to China in 2017 at The Asian International Fair in Nanning, Guangxi, the demand for Musang King durian has surged in China, according to a posting in South China Morning Post dated 6 October 2020, China has imported 7,700 tons of durian worth USD67 million from Malaysia.
Meanwhile, even with such huge demand, the potential of Musang King durian is still at its infant stage and it is expected to grow from year to year.
Selling Price in China
The demand for Musang King in China has also driven up the price for the fruit both internationally and domestically, as reported, it is between RMB 600-800 (depending on seasons) at retail price to consumers.
Official Approval to import Malaysian Durian
On May 30, 2019, the General Administration of Customs of China has announced its approval allowing the export of Musang King durian as a whole fruit in frozen form into China. This news has opened up a golden opportunity for Malaysian durian planters to increase their production for export as well as benefiting China’s consumers to be able to experience Musang King durian in its original form and aroma.
Potential by-product market
Due to the rise in demand for durian products; ice-cream, food and snack manufacturers have also taken the opportunities to incorporate durian flavors products into their production line. Hence, further expanded the opportunity for the durian market not just for the fruit itself, but as a by-product incorporated into its products.
Examples for these products are:
(1) Durian desserts, such as ice cream and cakes;
(2) Snacks, such as French fries and candies and
(3) Beverages, such as coffee and tea.
The value of by-products is higher than that of fresh durian.