Thailand’s Fruit Export Surge: A Growing Competition on the Horizon

Thailand's Fruit Export Surge: A Growing Competition on the Horizon

Thailand’s Fruit Export Surge: A Growing Competition on the Horizon

Over the past year, Thailand saw a remarkable uptick in fruit exports, hitting 1.74 million tons—an impressive 12.7% rise from the previous year. That translated into a hefty $5.06 billion (about 174.27 billion baht) in export value, a whopping 31.9% surge from before.

When it comes to exported fruits, durians took the lead, with a staggering 965,284 tons shipped out. Following closely were longan (274,064 tons), mangosteen (245,049 tons), mango (104,154 tons), and pineapple (36,618 tons).

China remained Thailand’s major importer, accounting for a massive 91.6% of the total export value. Malaysia (2.0%), Hong Kong (1.6%), Indonesia (1.0%), and South Korea (0.8%) trailed behind.

Despite the anticipation of increased fruit imports by China, Thai suppliers are bracing for intensified competition—a challenge outlined by Napintorn. The durian market, in particular, saw a significant shift. Thailand, once dominating at 95% last year, now holds only 70% of China’s market share, with Vietnam making big moves and claiming a 30% share, thanks to their longer harvest season.

Vietnam’s ability to supply durians when Thailand can’t has given them a competitive edge. Also, the Philippines has entered the Chinese market this year, posing new competition. Meanwhile, Malaysia is seeking to export durians to China, and even China itself is getting into durian cultivation.

To adapt to this changing landscape, Napintorn stressed the need for Thailand to explore new markets while holding ground in China. It’s all about diversification and expanding their reach.

In a bid to broaden their export range, Thailand has gained clearance from China to export 22 different fruits, including tamarind, custard apple, papaya, star fruit, guava, and many more.

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