Durian season extended

Lim says he sells his fruits online, makes home deliveries and even ships frozen durian to other states in a move to boost sales.

JOHOR BARU: The durian season in Johor may last longer this year as the fruits ripen slowly due to bad weather.

Sellers in Johor estimate the durian season, which starts mid-June, could last more than three months, instead of the usual one-month period.

Chew Chye Chooi, 40, who has been selling durians for more than 20 years, said local durian was collected as they drop to the ground, and fewer fruits have dropped lately.

“Usually durian trees will drop their entire yield over a period of two to three weeks as all of the fruits ripen around the same time, causing a surplus that leads to cheaper prices.

“But this year, possibly due to heavy rains, the fruits are dropping at longer intervals, with some trees still flowering even after dropping their first batch of fruits,” he said.

Chew added that the stock of durians would also be less this year, as exports to Taiwan, Indonesia and Australia were still ongoing, with China still being the largest importer of the fruit from Malaysia.

Other sellers had also said that they did not expect durian prices to drop, with Musang King hovering slightly above the RM30 mark when the season starts.

Molly Teo, 40, the assistant sales manager of a durian shop in Taman Molek here, said the prices would undoubtedly go down mid-June, based on supply and demand.

“Once the fruits from Kahang (in Kluang district) are ripe and ready to be shipped, we will see a drop in price as they compete with other orchards from the southern side of the state, such as Gelang Patah and Kluang.

“But since the fruits are ripening slowly and being sold overseas, I would say durian like the Musang King variety will not see prices as low as RM24 per kg like before, but will probably be above RM35 per kg,” she said.

Teo added that if there was less demand this year, there was a possibility of prices coming down.

Regarding demand for durian, Jack Lim, 37, who runs the biggest durian buffet in Johor Jaya, said while there was a slump in sales, sellers had countered this by expanding their market.

“Last season I sold about 10,000kg of durian a day, but now I sell about 3,000kg, which is entirely due to lack of eat-in and walk-in customers.

“Now I have opted to sell my fruits online, make home deliveries and even ship frozen durian to other states in a move to boost sales,” he said.

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