11 July 2024

Durian, reported to be on sale in some Chinese cities, were not exported from Thailand, but are substandard produce from elsewhere, according to Alongkorn Polabutr, an advisor to Agriculture Minister Chalermchai Sri-on and a member of Thailand’s Fruit Board.

Alongkorn said today (Tuesday) that Chalermchai had immediately ordered the Thai commercial attachés in the Chinese cities of Shanghai, Beijing and Guangdong to investigate a report on social media that some customers had bought durian in Shanghai, at about 1,000 baht per kilogram, and then discovered that they were not Thai durian, because they “tasted different”.

He said that the Thai commerce attachés in Shanghai immediately conducted an investigation and discovered that durian are not yet on sale in the shops, but are available from mobile vendors on pickup trucks, which usually make roadside stops to sell durian at night and during weekends, usually on Xinhua Road.

He said that these vendors sell durian at prices lower than those available in shops, but their quality is substandard, adding that they do business at night because they have to avoid the police.

Alongkorn also said the attachés spoke to five shop-owners who sell Thai durian and were told that the Thai varieties are more expensive than those from Vietnam and most Chinese customers know the difference, although they could not distinguish the fruit from its external appearance alone.

The only possible indication of the source of the durian is the sticker on the durian stem, he said.