Durian from Mindanao penetrates US market

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 4 Dec) – Durian from Mindanao has started penetrating the US market, Davao Durian Council president Larry Miculob said.

Speaking during the Wednesdays at Habi at Kape forum, Miculob said the first batch—which consisted of around 300 kilos of Arancillo, Puyat, Duyaya, and Durio Graveolens varieties—was shipped to the US via a Philippine Airlines flight last October 16.

He added they hope to increase the export volume soon.

Miculob said it was sold to famous Oregon-based video blogger Lindsay Gasik who said the durian from Davao received positive feedback from the local customers there who preferred Davao’s frozen durian meat to other durian fruits imported from Thailand, which exports whole durian to the US.

The durian was sold at $69.99 dollars for a box of two kilos.

“The US market was quite surprising. They said it is much better than what is sold in the local market… because when we export frozen durian meat, we can be 99.9% sure of its quality, unlike when you export whole durian, you can only ascertain its quality once you open it,” he said.

Miculob added he hopes the entry of fruits to the US market will encourage more farmers to grow more durian to increase the current production level.

“We are looking at expanding the volume so we can send more. I hope the farmers realize that we have an opportunity to export, and the market in Manila is starting to expand,” he said.

According to the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), the Davao region produced 59,027 metric tons of durian in 2018, higher by 14% as compared to 51,818 MT produced in 2017.

At present, Miculob said Davao is exporting a small volume to Singapore, Hong Kong, and Japan.

He added the export restriction imposed by China on the durian from the Philippines has yet to be lifted. Currently, Miculob said the Chinese government allows direct shipment of mangos, pineapples, bananas, and coconuts from the Philippines. (Antonio L. Colina IV / MindaNews)