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2020-07-01 16:55:50  2299564
Durian bouquet shot to fame in China, RM2.65 million of sales on 20 May

A university graduate holding a durian bouquet, a new trend in China which started two years ago. (photo extracted from online)
A university graduate holding a durian bouquet, a new trend in China which started two years ago. (photo extracted from online)

KUALA LUMPUR, Durian bouquet has shot to fame in China. 

Delivery platform Meituan.com recorded a whopping RM2.65 million (US$616,279) of  durian sales, making it as one of the popular gifts on 20 May, China’s unofficial Valentine’s Day. 

The numbers “520” are used to express “I love you,” as the pronunciation of the two phrases is similar in Chinese.

The Covid-19 pandemic has hit businesses in all sectors but not the export of durian from Malaysia. 

The Embassy of China in Malaysia said the durians exported from Malaysia to China were sold online and unaffected by the pandemic. 

During a durian promotion in March after the Covid-19 outbreak was under control in China, online grocery store Hema Supermarket recorded a 10-fold growth in durian sales, showing a high demand of durian by the Chinese. 

Durians from Malaysia are only available in cities and the export is still unable to meet the demand in China. 

Statistics show that since China allowed import of frozen whole durian last year, demand recorded sharp increase. 

In 2018, Malaysia exported 3,200 tonnes of durians to China with the value of US$41 million (RM176.43 million). Last year, the total export shot up to 7,700 tonnes with the transaction valued at US$67 million (RM288.29 million) as frozen whole durian made its way to China. 

Asked about the impact of Covid-19 on durian, the embassy said durians are sold through online and the import of durian from Malaysia in second half of last year increased by 170%.

“The pandemic has sort of boosted online sales. January to March are considered low season for durian in China. But the import of durian from Malaysia maintained at US$22 million (RM94.66 million) for two consecutive quarters, showing that export of durians was not affected by the pandemic," said the spokesperson of the embassy. 

Value-added products such as durian cake and durian cookies are also popular, offering enormous business potentials in China. 

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