Thai durians have been being shipped to China via the Laos-China Railway for the first time.
Khaosod news reports that 40 tonnes of durian, along with 20 tonnes of coconuts, traveled from Thailand’s Rayong province to Nong Khai and to the Lao border, where the fruit was loaded onto the Laos-China Railway and shipped north.
The fruit will travel for a total of five days.
China’s durian consumption has grown steadily in recent years, with some 575,000 tons of fresh durian worth a total of USD 2.3 billion imported into China in 2020.
As a result, China has increasingly turned to imports from Thailand, with durian growers in Thailand eagerly awaiting last year’s opening of the Laos-China Railway.
Pandemic shipping complications had previously posed a major challenge to China importing durian, but the Laos-China Railway offers a new means of bringing the odorous fruit to Chinese consumers.
While Thailand currently dominates the Chinese durian market, the Chinese appetite for durian has recently driven up the price of the fruit, and Laos is now also being considered as a possible producer of the fruit for export to China.