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Durian farmers reap handsome profits as prices climb to new highs

By Trung Chanh

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CAN THO – Durian prices have rocketed to an all-time high of VND160,000 per kilogram this year, leading farmers to look forward to substantial profits.

Speaking to The Saigon Times, Tran Tuan Tu, a durian merchant in the Mekong Delta province of Tien Giang, said that the Monthong durian variety is currently selling for VND160,000 per kilogram, VND25,000 higher than in early January.

Meanwhile, the RI6 variant is priced at between VND100,000 and VND110,000 per kilogram, up by VND15,000-20,000 from the beginning of the month. These prices are the highest since the start of the year, surpassing the figures seen in the same period last year.

The price spike is primarily driven by limited supply and increased demand for export. Traders are supplying the local market at prices VND15,000 higher than those at the farms, resulting in prices around VND115,000-125,000 per kilogram for the RI6 variety and VND175,000-180,000 per kilogram for the Monthong variety.

Huynh Tan Loc, director of a durian cooperative in Tien Giang, said that cultivating a durian tree costs VND1.5 million per tree or VND30 million per 1,000 square meters.

With an average yield of about two tons per 1,000 square meters, durian farmers can generate revenue of VND320 million per 1,000 square meters for the Monthong variety and VND200-220 million for the RI6 variant. This translates to profits of around VND290 million for Monthong and VND170-180 million for RI6, which is a significant profit in the current agriculture landscape.

Vietnam’s 2023 durian export sales skyrocketed 4.8 times against 2022 to an astonishing US$2.3 billion in 2023, showed data of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.

The amazing performance of the durian export sector is attributed to the massive demand of China, which imported more than 1.4 million tons of durian from Vietnam last year, up by 69% against the year earlier, with a total value of US$2.1 billion.

Fuelled by the durian boom, Vietnam’s fruit and vegetable exports blossomed to a record US$5.69 billion in 2023, up by nearly US$2.3 billion from the previous year, according to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.

In the first half of January this year alone, Vietnam’s fruit and vegetable exports brought in around US$230 million, soaring by 50% over the same period last year.

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