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China Investors Build RM 94 million Durian Plant in Southern Thailand

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China Investors Build RM 94 million Durian Plant in Southern Thailand

According to Bangkok Post, a Chinese investment group from Kunming has invested about 700 million baht (RM 94 million) in establishing a durian processing factory in the lower South Thailand, aiming to export one-third of durian produced in the southern border provinces to China. The presence of this factory is seen as an evidence of the growing durian export market in China.

Xiao Yaoheng, managing director of Manguwang Food Co, said the company, Thai-Chinese joint venture, is now buying durian from the local growers for freezing and exporting to China.

The company, located in Songkhla’s Thepha district and started operation earlier this month, has about 2 billion baht in working capital, is hiring about 1,200 people to work at the factory and is capable of buying 12,000 tonnes of durian per year, he said.

As for next year, the company aims to raise its durian buying capacity to 20,000 tonnes per year, which will account for one-third of all durian produced in Thailand’s southern border provinces, he said.

The factory is now capable of buying and processing 300 tonnes per day. Producing both freeze-dried durian and quick frozen durian pulp for exporting to China, the factory is buying durian at considerable higher prices than local buyers, he said.

Because almost half of durian fruits from plantations in the lower South normally do not meet the export standards given their smaller sizes than usual, the products then go to processing factories, he said.

In Yala, Pattani and Narathiwat alone, there are about 50,000 rai (19768 acres) of durian growing areas, most of which are in highland zones or at the base of a mountain, he said.

The entire lower South has about 150,000 rai (59305 acres) of durian growing areas and produces between 120,000 tonnes and 150,000 tonnes of durian per year, he said.

Source: Bangkok Post

This is a huge investment by Chinese firms in Southern Thailand. The numbers are huge as they are looking at producing 120,000 tonnes and 150,000 tonnes of durian per year. Currently, China imports 300,000 tonnes of durians from Thailand a year. This means that China will import more than 300,000 tonnes of durians from Thailand next year.

Looks like durian is not going to be cheap in Thailand too if most of the durians are going to export to China.We visited Southern Thailand Betong last year to taste some of the local durians. To our surprise, we found a few durian types that are similar to Malaysian durian such as Pomani, Chanee and more. The durians were selling at 50 Baht to 100 Baht per kg in Betong but the prices are few times more in other part of Thailand especially in Bangkok.

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