Durians could be cheaper in June because of Covid-19

But there is a high rejection rate due to the dry weather.

Zhangxin Zheng | May 17, 2020, 03:01 PM

Durian season typically starts from April to August and peaks in June.

Even though Covid-19 has somewhat dampened the mood to enjoy this yearly affair, many durian lovers might still look forward to a cozy and more pocket-friendly durian feast at home this year.

Cheaper durians expected

As a result of the safe distancing measures and restrictions to curb the spread of Covid-19, durians are likely to be cheaper than before.

A local durian retailer, 99 Old Trees, also projected that the prices of durians will likely drop by 25 to 45 per cent.

With the travel restrictions, there is a fall in demand for durians in Malaysia, partly due to the absence of tourists.

However, the retailers are starting to receive orders from China as the country recovers from the Covid-19 outbreak.

99 Old Trees said that they are expecting Grade A Musang King to be priced at S$15 - S$17 during peak season.

Speaking to Mothership, another retailer Ah Seng Durians also said that a drop in durian prices is expected, as more people are staying at home, and durian events are less likely to happen this year.

However, the retailer adapted to the restrictions by providing islandwide deliveries and adopt new ways of pricing such as selling durians in boxes instead of by their weights for faster collection and payment.

Dry spell brings about higher rejection rate at the start of season

Ah Seng Durians also noted a higher rejection rate at the start of the season this year due to weather conditions, at around 50 per cent in late-April.

According to a Malaysian durian trader, the dry spell this year will mean more maintenance is required at the durian farms.

However, the lockdown in Malaysia has caused a shortage of staff at these farms and without sufficient water, the durians might fall off the trees before they ripen.

That said, the dry spell can also bring about a higher supply of better quality of durians as well.

According to The Star, the Malaysian suppliers are expecting the supply to exceed the demand for durians this year.

However, the prices of durians might not be lower if the high rejection rate continues to be high, which seems to be the case for Musang King durians as of mid-May.

Quality of durians expected to be more consistent in June

These durians dropped pre-maturely and are usually unripe, Ah Seng Durians said.

When they encounter such situations, the retailer will have to cancel or rearrange their delivery of orders.

For the rejected durians, Ah Seng Durians will make fresh durian purees out of them for sale. The quality of durians will be more consistent when the season peaks.

Having said that, Ah Seng Durians also seeks durian lovers to be more understanding as there are "bound to have hits and misses".

Top photo via Ah Seng Durians/Facebook