Outlook for durian exports remains bright
Thailand's durian export prospects remain promising, with export value expected to top 200 billion baht this year, outpacing other key cash crops such as rice, rubber and tapioca.
According to Aat Pisanwanich, director of the Center for International Trade Studies at the University of Thai Chamber of Commerce (UTCC), Thai durian exports have increased continuously over the past five years, with the value rising from 111 billion in 2020 to 187 billion baht last year.
This year, the value of durian exports was forecasted to reach 200 billion baht, with money in circulation in the domestic durian production and trading chains -- covering farmers, traders, labour, logistics and packaging -- estimated to increase by 8.6% this year to 700 billion baht from 640 billion baht in 2021.
The Durian Risk Index (DURI), the first of its kind, which was developed by the UTCC's Center for International Trade Studies, forecasts that during the years 2022-26 the index would stand at 51, 54, 57, 55 and 60 points, respectively, indicating that Thai durian is subject to high risk.
Under the new index, 50 points is considered to be normal, less than 50 points indicates low risk, while more than 50 points reflects high risk.
According to Mr Aat, the risks for durian include a surge in plantation areas over the past 10 years, especially in the northeast and eastern regions.
The plantation area for durian increased to 915,000 rai last year from 604,000 rai in 2011.
As a result, annual output increased significantly during this period.
In 2026, durian output is expected to increase to 2.9 million tonnes from an estimated 1.32 million tonnes this year.
If Thailand does not have prudent and effective management, an impact on the price may transpire as happens to other crops, he said.