A recent study by the University of Thai Chamber of Commerce (UTCC) has indicated that durian export growth has surpassed that of all other agricultural products, including rice, rubber, and cassava.
In 2021, durian exports were valued at 187.2 billion baht, while export values for rice, rubber, and cassava totaled 100.4 billion, 91.4 billion, and 43.1 billion baht, respectively.
The UTCC study also found that the durian production ecosystem was seeing about 640 billion baht in cash flow, with durian exports for 2022 expected to be valued at 200 billion baht.
Additionally, the UTCC conducted a new Durian Risk Index (DURI) assessment, which projected that Thai durians would face immense challenges over the next five years from 2022-2026 due to heavy farming. Durian farms occupied more than 900,000 rai in 2021, a major leap from 600,000 rai in 2011. The northeastern and the eastern regions hold the most concentration of durian farms, with many rubber farmers also switching to growing durians. The move has pushed annual average durian production to 337,000 metric tons from just 70,000 tons previously. Production is expected to reach 2.9 million tons by 2026.
The price of durian is meanwhile expected to see a severe drop if this trend continues, as more countries promote durian farming and set the stage for fierce market share competition in the near future.
The study also predicted that Thailand will have a global durian market share of 76% in 2026, down from 85% currently. (NNT)