Mangosteen growers’ plight as prices of their fruit have nosedived

The prices of mangosteen, one of Thailand’s most prized fruits, have dropped sharply due to a combination of oversupply and drop in exports, mainly due to China’s imposition of GMP (good manufacturing practice) and GAP (good agricultural practice).

According to reports from Talad Thai, Bangkok’s largest fresh fruit wholesale markets, about 10,000 tonnes of Mangosteen are pouring into the market each day from southern provinces.

Mrs. Kanoknuan Jinaklong, one of about 95 wholesalers at the market, said that the supply was so huge that wholesalers are unable to distribute the fruit fast enough. However, she said that the wholesalers, like herself, still have to buy the fruit from the growers because they have been in business together for a long time.

The buying price from the orchards now stands at seven baht/kg for mixed mangosteen or non-selected mangosteen, while the cost of picking the fruit is five baht/kg. This means the growers make only two baht/kg, not counting other costs such as fertilizer.

The export prices of selected mangosteen, which meet the size requirement, range from 14-16 baht/kg compared to last year’s 60-100 baht/kg, said Mrs. Kanoknuan.

Another wholesaler at the market, Mrs. Krisana Changwong, blamed the sharp price drop on China’s strict imposition of GMP and GAP on fruit imported from Thailand, making Chinese importers delay their purchases while they await GMP and GAP certification from Thailand’s Agricultural Technique Department.

She suggested that the government step in to help the growers by subsidizing two baht/kg of the transportation costs.

Talad Thai’s director of trading affairs, Mr. Adit Pattharaprasit, said the market had been trying to distribute surplus mangosteen to small retailers or directly to consumers.

He added that the market was in the process of coordinating with about 1,000 fruit vendors, who sell fruits from their pickup trucks, to help ease the mangosteen glut at Talad Thai.

Besides mangosteen, he said that the price of durian, Thailand’s king of fruits, is also plummeting while output this year is expected to increase by 40 percent over last year.



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