Suggestion for property developers 

Durian, especially the Mao Shan Wang variety, has been exorbitantly priced this year. This article (Durian exports to China fruitful) reminds us why.

At this rate, it might be worth converting all that ringgit into land for a good durian plantation.. seems like it might be the best investment as it’s one of the Malaysian commodities that is actually continually increasing in value.

Perhaps those Chinese developers of forest city in Johor Bahru should consider putting fruit plantations on or adjacent to their property. This could entice buyers from China who are also durian lovers. Property & durian trees.. all long term investments.

Durian as a torture instrument

If you wanted to torture someone, say your husband for adultery, what implements would you use? Most would immediately think of kitchen utensils, stationery perhaps.

Thought you’d heard it all eh?

This lady caught her husband having an online affair and decided that he needed to be taught a lesson. She made him dress up in women’s underwear, stuck a Sani on his forehead and had him kneel on durian spikes as punishment. All while declaring his mistake and apologising to her. On video.

Ouch! 

Those thorns really are the strongest fruity weapons around.

I bet both his knees and ego must be hurting.

How not to eat durians

This crazy lady was not permitted to bring her durians on board the train after officials caught a “whiff” of what was happening. So she gobbled it all down before the train left…

Too heaty? Most definitely. Next time, pack it well!

I recommend plastic packaging with a vacuum seal if possible. Otherwise use cling film liberally! 

Durian Supply and Demand, Economics and Crime

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. 

  

Durian Export: Comment and Headlines

Hello StinkySpikes readers,

A little bit more durian news from Malaysia. Sorry it’s late, but I think it is still good for all of us to keep track of what’s going on…

A comment in the local daily paper:

Durian news in NanYang newspaper

Monday May 30, 2011
What is happening to our durians?
Monday Starters – By Soo Ewe Jin

I AM getting a bit worried about the fate of the King of Fruits in Malaysia. Imagine, if only a fraction of the 1.3 billion people in China decide that they prefer durians over mandarin oranges, will there be any left over for us back home?

I reckon that Uncle Donald in SS2, and many others who tempt us with varieties ranging from the Kim Hoo to the Ang Sim, the Hor Loh to the Ang Heh, and also seedless types named after certain politicians, must now be looking at new marketing strategies.

Will they still want to offer us the “All you can eat for RM10” or “Eat Till You Drop” packages when a bigger market is now ready and open?

Over the past few months, Chinese officials have reportedly been sniffing around our durian plantations to check on our food safety standards. And we have passed the test.
File: Durians on sale in Petaling Jaya.

So when Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao visited Kuala Lumpur at the end of April, he formally agreed to allow the entry of Malaysian durians into mainland China.

We are very happy, of course, and our government even sent a gift of 200 frozen durians to Wen to express our thanks. Nice gesture.

And now it is left to our planters and entrepreneurs to take up the challenge. But I do hope they will not forget the domestic market.

It’s tough enough that we lose some of our best durians to our neighbour down south but can we withstand a sudden rise in demand from the Chinese? Will we be left only with the kampung durian while the branded ones are exclusively for export?

After all, we are all familiar with the story of how Macau’s Gambling King, Stanley Ho, recently sent his private jet to collect 88 durians from Singapore.

Ho spent approximately RM4,800 on the fruit which he bought from the 818 Durian Stall in the city-state though we can safely assume that the fruit, the Musang King variety, came from Malaysia.

It works out to RM50 per fruit, not counting the transport costs. I guess this is really small change to the super-duper rich.

Durian Headlines in SinChew Newspaper

Ho didn’t eat it all but reportedly shared the bounty with his good buddy, Hong Kong billionaire Li Ka-Shing.

Interestingly enough, a recent Forbes survey shows China now has the second most number of billionaires in the world, after the United States.

According to Forbes, China is home to 64 of the world’s 937 wealthiest people, but various estimates put the actual number of billionaires at between 400 and 500. What if all of them want to eat durians?

We all know that the King of Fruits is not something that only the very rich can afford. In fact, it is very much the common man’s fruit, so can you imagine how big the demand will be if the ordinary Chinese suddenly realise that when it comes to durian, only the Malaysian variety is the real thing?

Our neighbours up north will have a tough fight on their hands, having monopolised the market in mainland China all these years.

According to an Associated Press report, Thailand has dominated the durian trade for more than three decades. It shipped about 138,000 tons (125,000 metric tons) of durians worth nearly US$70mil last year to mainland China, which bought nearly 60% of Thailand’s global durian exports, according to UN trade statistics.

Malaysia, according to Fama (Federal Agriculture Marketing Authority), produces about 330,000 tons (300,000 metric tons) of durians a year, mainly for domestic consumption.

How much of that will now be exported is anybody’s guess. But, hopefully, any fight to control the China market will not get prickly or raise a stink.

Deputy executive editor Soo Ewe Jin is currently barred, for health reasons, from consuming the King of Fruits. He hopes he can still find Balik Pulau durians when he gets well.