BEIJING, Sept. 23 (Xinhua) -- Known as the "king of fruits" in Southeast Asia, the durian has gained increasing popularity among Chinese consumers due to its rich texture and unique flavor.
The high price of durians has dissuaded many from indulging in its delights in the past years. However, the price decline of the Southeast Asian country's iconic thorny fruit is now poised to bring joy to a larger community of durian lovers.
The changes can be attributed to the bountiful harvests of durians in Southeast Asian countries, as well as tariff-free policies and expanded market access under the frameworks of the China-ASEAN Free Trade Area and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP).
According to the Ministry of Commerce of Thailand, China was the largest export market for Thai durians in 2022, accounting for over 96 percent of the total export volume, with a total value of 3.09 billion U.S. dollars.
In 2022, Vietnamese durians, known for their longer harvest season and lower prices, gained market access to China under the RCEP framework.
Thanks to the entry of durians into the Chinese market, Vietnam earned more than 500 million U.S. dollars from durian exports in the first five months of the year, up 18 times from a year ago, official data from Vietnam showed. Vietnam exported more than 65,000 tonnes of durians during the period, with China buying 97 percent of the shipment.
In the first five months of this year, Guangxi imported 3.66 billion yuan worth of fruits from ASEAN countries, a marked rise of 194 percent year on year. Among the most notable increases is durian, which surged 516 percent from the same period last year, according to customs data.
The "king of fruits" has emerged as a prominent symbol of the booming China-ASEAN cooperation and China's vast market potential. Let's look forward together as the cooperation between China and ASEAN countries continues to deepen, and more high-quality fruits from ASEAN countries will be available to Chinese consumers at more affordable prices.