China, Thailand and Vietnam Flock to Buy Cambodian Durian

Dealers from China, Thailand and Vietnam have flocked to buy durian from Cambodian farmers in the Thmar Bang district of Koh Kong province.

PHNOM PENH – Dealers from China, Thailand and Vietnam have flocked to buy durian from Cambodian farmers in the Thmar Bang district of Koh Kong province. The climate crisis has lowered the foreign crop production, making them turn to Cambodia.



Bun Theng, a durian plantation owner in Thmar Bang district, said many dealers from China, Thailand and Vietnam had directly purchased durian from her and other farmers in the last two or three days.



As of June 4, Thai dealers have bought 300 tonnes while those from China and Vietnam bought about 60 tonnes. The durians are of the highest quality, free from pests and have a ripening age of only 80 to 85 percent, she said.



Local farmers do not yet know whether the durian will be sold as Cambodian but they were happy to sell a lot of their produce.



The average price offered by Chinese, Thai and Vietnamese dealers is 14,000 riel (roughly $3.5) per kilogram, which is similar to selling to a local dealer.



“They just told us that all the durians would be bought for export, but we don’t know if they say it is grown in Cambodia,” said Bun Theng. “At least, they know that we have the best durian.”



Em Sotheara, the deputy director of the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries in Koh Kong and Agriculture Ministry spokesperson Im Rachana could not be reached for comment.



Soeun Bunthong, another plantation owner in Thmar Bang district, said that in previous years, Chinese, Thai and Vietnamese traders also came to buy durian but this year there were more.



He said Cambodia and the other countries face increasing heat, damaging the crop while Thailand and Vietnam have harvested durian before Cambodia which leads to higher demand. So, they turn to Cambodia.



In 2024, drought caused by the El Nino phenomenon reduced the yield of durian in almost all areas. In Thmar Bang district, on the other hand, the yield of durian fruit increased by 20 to 30 percent due to the abundance of mountains and rainfall in the area, said Bun Theng.



Bun Theng said that in their district, the rain usually lasted 10 months but the change in climate had increased yields by 20 to 30 percent, and sometimes up to 50 percent, from last year.


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