Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Early durian harvest comes with heavy price

Musang King or Raja Kunyit durian

PETALING JAYA: The “king of fruits” comes early this year compared to the usual mid-year harvest season. But the morsels of delight come at a price.
Durian now is more expensive compared to last year, said vendor Cheah Kim Wai.
Early harvests are rare, and the last time it happened was in 2001.
“People may have to pay on average 40% more if they want to enjoy durian now.
“Supply is low and we have fruits only from Pahang,” said the fruit seller of 13 years when met at his Wai Fruits and Durian stall in SS2 here yesterday.
Cheah said the durian season normally started in June and stretched to August.
“The prices are expected to decrease in June,” he said.
Cheah added that for now, the famed Raja Kunyit or Musang King at his stall was selling at RM28 per kilo, Tracka at RM22 per kilo, while D-24 is RM15 per kilo.
“Yes, some customers do grumble about the expensive prices, but many will not walk away empty-handed as the lure of the fruit is just too strong.
“We have customers coming here for a durian treat for lunch when the prices are low, but now most of them will come only after having a proper meal,” he said.
Cheah said most of his customers preferred better quality fruits like the Raja Kunyit.
In Kelantan, durian fruit farmer Tina Chong said Raja Kunyit was priced between RM30 and RM35 per kilo, and kampung durians normally going for RM2 or RM3 per kilo was now selling at RM7.
Chong said there would be 30% fewer fruits from her farm this year due to bad and wet weather.
A durian lover in her 40s who only wanted to be known as Wong said she did not mind spending a little more as the fruit was available only a few months in a year.
“As it is more expensive now, I will buy less,” she said.
She preferred durians with a sweet and bitter taste.
“It is best when you eat it with coffee in the morning,” she added.
Wong said she would buy some Raja Kunyit as a “welcome home” treat for her brother, who would soon be returning from overseas. - theStarOnline

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