Weighing about 60 tonnes in total, the durians sold out in exactly 50 minutes and 48 seconds with sales recorded worth about 100mil RMB (RM61.2mil). The record sales was announced at the launch of the durian festival, which was done online from three sites – in Qinzhou, as well as in Kuala Lumpur and Raub, Pahang.
The Prime Minister’s special envoy to China Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing said he was confident that the export of Malaysian durian to China would ultimately contribute to bilateral trade between the two countries. He said according to statistics, China imported 600,000 tonnes of durian worth US$1.7bil (RM7.1bil) last year, with only 7,700 tonnes worth US$67mil (RM278.8mil) coming from Malaysia.
“Despite the Covid-19 outbreak, I believe the demand for Malaysian durian will not be threatened.” We should keep these numbers growing to benefit both countries in terms of the economy, and resource, cultural and knowledge sharing” he said in a speech that was read out by Malaysia-China business council director Datuk Fong Tian Yong at the event here.
China imported 3,200 tonnes of frozen durian pulp and paste from Malaysia amounting to US$41mil (RM175mil) in 2018.China-Malaysia Qinzhou Industrial Park vice-chairman Datuk Beh Hang Kong said they were exploring the possibility of setting up a Malaysian durian hub in the industrial park.
He said the hub would cover everything from the supply chain, logistics, processing, the downstream industry to a permanent durian bazaar. “From our research, only about 3% of the Chinese population had tried Malaysian durians. “I strongly believe that durian can be a big export for our country” he said, adding that with strong support from the government, they could look at a market size of up to US$1bil (RM4.16bil).