Expect to shell out over RM60 for a kilo of Musang King this season until prices are hopefully moderated later this year… weather and world affairs permitting.
As if people aren’t already feeling the pinch with price inflations everywhere due to current global supply movement issues caused by the Russia-Ukraine crisis, even locally produced delicacies aren’t spared!
According to recent reports, durian fans in Malaysia are about to be hit with a surge in pricing due to several reasons.
Durian orchards around the country are producing lower yields this year due to all the heavy rainfall we’ve been experiencing. On top of dealing the forces of nature, and the supply chains being compromised, agricultural producers have been facing a lack of imported fertilizer as well as a labour shortage.
One durian farmer in Malaysia explained that durian trees normally require a minimum of 14 days of dry weather in order for their flowers to bloom. With excessive rainfall, farms could expect more vegetative growth, but fewer flowers and resulting fruits.
It’s estimated that varieties such as Musang King and Black Thorn were decreased by as much as 60 to 80 percent in farms across states like Penang, Johor, and Pahang, with another orchard owner saying that they were only able to harvest two tons of durian this year instead of the usual 10 tons.
Additionally, he also said that the cost of fertilizer had almost doubled, while the rest of his operating costs had gone up fivefold.
As a result, he quoted that the price of the Black Thorn variety of durian would cost buyers around RM100 (US$22.80) per kilogram instead of the typical RM80 (US$18.30), while another durian producer said that the price of Musang King could be expected to cost over RM60 (US$13.70) per kilogram.
Another reason we may experience a durian shortage here is because of Malaysia’s top durian importer: China. The Chinese demand for Malaysian durians remains very high and the ability to pay more for the fruit grants them top priority in taking the best of the season’s crop.
How long will we have to endure this shortage? Durian farmers are anticipating that this year’s season could be postponed to October instead, when prices are hopefully moderated again — presuming the weather in May is more forgiving.
Learning from the current challenges, farmers are moving to adopt smarter technologies for their orchards in order for them to be less dependent on manual labour and outsourced fertilizer going forward.
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