This article presents an example of how China controls the market in Asia these days. If China needs it, resources worldwide are commanded to cater for the demand. In recent articles, the chinese middle class consumer is one of increasingly discerning taste. Better homes, better cars, better branded clothing and of course, better food.
Perhaps it used to be the case that Chinese consumers would eat whatever durian they were presented with, be it from Vietnam, Thailand or the Philippines. The falling prices of oil and gas has probably benefitted the middle class. Imports become cheaper and more importantly, accessible and available. In the context of durian from Malaysia, the factors that have won favor are:
1) flavor and hybrids of durian after decades of careful selection by Malaysian agriculturists (hats off)
2) weakening of the ringgit
3) open Malaysia-China policies to encourage more tourists from China
4) improved cold chain logistics
5) general increasing awareness and adoration of durian
Vietnamese farmers have been subjected to the massive price fluctuations that follow a change in tastes. If only these farmers knew which durians make the cut, they could still make a potential fortune.
Well done to father and son for apprehending these robbers. The Borneo Post reported that three out of the four thieves were caught in the middle of the night sneaking more than 20 fruits out in gunny sacks.