Malaysian durian exporters are bracing themselves for a slowdown in exports as an unseasonable heatwave takes it toll on production, reports The Malay Mail online.
Agnessia Best Fruits Trading (Malaysia) director Albert Tan told the paper the extreme weather, brought on by the El Nino phenomenon, had stunted tree growth.
“We are expecting a drop of 30 per cent in exports due to the extreme weather as the flowering process of the durian trees have been slower,” he said.
Tan told the paper he has not discounted the possibility of a price hike as a result.
“Farmers will take into account the scarcity of the fruit and increase prices to reduce losses,” he said.
Tan Sue Sain, 42, owner of Durianseller.com, an online platform which sells durian to local and overseas markets, said he expects about a 10 per cent decrease for durian exports.
He also said farmers would be expecting to harvest the fruits in August because of the weather, a month after the usual durian season, which is between May and July.
Tan said the northern states were the most affected because of the lack of rain and with the decreased water supply in Penang and Kedah would mean the fruits from these areas would decrease during the harvest season.
However, it would not be a nationwide problem as durian orchards in Pahang and Johor would not be affected, he said.