Ministry of Commerce addressing Hong Kong’s ban on Thai durian imports

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BANGKOK, 16 June 2015 – Thai officials have explained local farmers’ practice of soaking durian in turmeric solutions to Hong Kong authorities after the latter imposed a ban on Thai durian following the detection of turmeric use.

According to Duangkamol Jiambutr, spokesperson to the Ministry of Commerce, Thai officials at the international trade promotion office in Hong Kong have explained to Hong Kong officials that the non-harmful turmeric solution is used to preserve the quality of color and texture of durian skin. Relevant Thai agencies have been asked to provide Hong Hong authorities with confirmation over the non-harmful nature of the practice.

As for the detection of the fruit ripening agent ethylene in the Thai durian imported to Hong Kong, Ms. Duangkamol explained that the durian in question were produced in Thailand but shipped to Hong Kong via China. She said the Ministry of Commerce would like durian producers and exporters to exercise caution over the use of various substances. The ministry is also looking to implement back-trace measures for exports to Hong Hong.

Hong Kong imported 198 million USD worth of durian from Thailand last year. The price of peeled Thai durian in Hong Kong has recently risen to 10 HKD per 100 grams, which is double the previous price of 5 HKD per 100 grams.