Durian Musang King sold in Can Tho town. Photo by VnExpress/Manh Khuong
Vietnam-grown Musang King durian saw prices plummet to an all-time low of VND80,000 ($3.25) per kilogram, down 70% year-on-year due to poor quality.
In the southern province of Tien Giang, farmer Ha recently cut down 200 Musang King trees to replace them with another crop after growing them for six years, only to rack up losses of VND6 billion ($244,600).
“This season, I sold them for only 80,000 kilograms VND, which is less than some other varieties,” he said.
Musang King, a variety of durian native to Malaysia, has been hailed as the “best in the world”.
Mai, a farmer in the central highlands province of Dak Lak, said that in previous years, traders competed to buy Musang King durian for up to VND700,000 per kilogram, but this year, few ‘among them buy them.
The yield of Musang King is only half that of Thailand’s Monthong because the fruit size of the former is smaller, but she was able to sell it for only 100,000 VND per kilogram, still cheaper than the latter .
Industry insiders say Musang King grown in Vietnam is of lower quality than in Malaysia and the flesh can be cloying to some customers. The Monthong varieties from Thailand and Ri 6 from Vietnam are therefore more preferred.
Dang Manh Khuong, a trader in the southern town of Can Tho, said Musang King fails to compete with other varieties in terms of price and productivity and so its prices have fallen.
Bui Van Cuong, who has been studying durian varieties for 20 years, said Musang King trees can easily fail to produce high-quality fruit if farmers do not have the necessary techniques.