Others biting into Musang King

Claims of outsiders buying M’sian fruit, reselling them as ‘Thai Musang King’ to China

PETALING JAYA: When Thai buyers started to acquire durian in Pahang for shipment back to Thailand, the Agriculture and Food Security Ministry raised concerns about other marketplaces exploiting the Musang King durian brand.

Deputy Agriculture and Food Security Minister Chan Foong Hin said Thai durian purchasers came to Raub to harvest the King of Fruits from the trees at higher prices, which he claimed were subsequently sold to China as fresh fruit under the label “Thai Musang King”, possibly hindering future exports of high-quality Malaysian durian to China.

“This is a free market, I do not stop you, but I don’t encourage (it),” he said, adding that the ministry will raise the issue with the Thai Embassy in Malaysia, particularly whether Thai durian buyers subsequently were selling Malaysian durian as “Thai Musang King” in China.

He said the ministry had called on durian farmers and exporters to look into the matter.

“We must use proper trade channels for exporting durian to ensure that local farmers do not lose out in the long run and protect the reputation and brand name of Musang King from being exploited by other markets,” he said in an interview.Chan said Malaysian Quarantine Inspection Services (Maqis) will collect the data.

He said the ministry has worked on and facilitated in obtaining approval for exporting fresh durian fruits to China.

“I also understand the farmers’ desperation to develop more sales channels, including the possibility of exporting fresh durian directly to China, but the ministry is concerned with Malaysia’s national interest,” he said.

He said the Musang King durian in Malaysia are ripe before falling from the trees and frozen in liquid nitrogen before being sent to China. Simultaneously, some durian export fruits are plucked before they are ready for export.

He stressed that “durian that ripen on the tree” are the Musang King’s selling point.

He reminded farmers that Singapore is the country that imports the most durian from Malaysia.

They should not jeopardise the quality and reputation of the durian built up over time for short-term gains, he added.

Based on the Department of Agriculture records until May, as many as 44 frozen durian processing facilities have received export approval from the General Administration of Customs of the People’s Republic of China.

A total of 41 facilities are processing durian in the form of pulp and paste.

In addition, 20 are approved for exporting whole fruit.

Local traders currently pay RM30 per kg for Grade “A” Musang King, while Thai buyers pay RM34 per kg.

It is learned that instead of waiting for durian to ripen and fall from the trees, Raub’s durian farmers harvest them when they are just about to ripen.

Many durian farmers purportedly see the trend as a breakthrough for owners to break away from local traders.

Raub Crop Producers Association president Nicky Koh said that Thai buyers were willing to pay higher prices for durian, which the farmers see as another way to expand the market.

He said the farmers have yet to learn what the Thai buyers do with the Musang King durian once it has been purchased and shipped back to Thailand, or if they are labelling it as “Thai Musang King” durian, and if there is anything they can do to stop it.

He said only the frozen Malaysian Musang King durian could be exported to China, and exporters must be concerned about the shortage of liquid nitrogen gas.

Koh also said that early harvesting of durian brings higher prices than natural ripening, saving on labour costs, having longer shelf life, and solving marketing, price and cost issues.

He said plucking the durian before it totally ripens will not affect its taste.

Meanwhile, Malaysian Durian Planters Association president Dr Tan Sue Sian explained that the flesh naturally ferments in its husks, which begins as soon as the durian falls from the tree.

The fermentation process impacts how durian finally taste, with lengthier fermentation resulting in stronger flavours.

He said that early durian plucking necessitates calculating days and time and packing to export to China, which can influence the quality delivered by Thai exporters unfamiliar with the Malaysian Musang King durian.

Subscribe now to our Premium Plan for an ad-free and unlimited reading experience!

Next In Nation

Barisan to give its all to win in Pelangai, says Dr Wee
Padi farmers are still getting RM1,700 per tonne, with RM500 subsidy, says Mat Sabu
Haze: Only Sarawak records unhealthy API readings on Oct 4
M'sia has sent letter to Indonesia over transboundary haze issue, says Nik Nazmi
No plans to continue PTPTN loan repayment discount under Budget 2024, says Mohamed Khaled
Over RM77mil in losses to various scams recorded in Perak so far this year, say police
25 fishermen held in Kuala Kedah anti-drug operation
No discussions of reshuffle, post at today's cabinet meeting, says Mohamed Khaled
Prices of petrol, diesel remain unchanged till Oct 11
Tourists can now jet ski to Pulau Besar from the mainland, says Melaka MATTA chief

Air Pollutant Index

Highest API Readings

    Select State and Location to view the latest API reading

    Source: Department of Environment, Malaysia

    Others Also Read