GEORGE TOWN (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Durians may cost more this year as durian farmers in Malaysia are expecting a lower yield in the peak season from June to August.
Durian farm owner and supplier Tan Chee Wei, 38, said the price of durians will be higher than last year's as the average durian yield is expected to fall by 60 per cent.
"The prices will decline a little but will be slightly higher than the season's peak last year.
"This is due to the drop in our projected yield. Earlier, we were expecting one of the best yields in years owing to a pronounced dry season since January.
"But from May onwards, we got continuous heavy rain and strong winds.
"Many of the fruits fell before they could ripen, " he said at his stall in Paya Terubong.
However, Mr Tan said he expects to get his durian supply up to August this year as some trees are blooming late.
"If the weather is consistent and not too wet, we will be able to see the durian season last until August, " he added.
Another orchard owner in Balik Pulau, Mr Mohd Farid Mohd Azmi, said that this year, there are concerns among smaller orchard owners that there will be insufficient stock as a result of the continuous rain earlier.
"We are already expecting a drop, which will lead to losses. Compounded by MCO 3.0, it will be harder for us to earn returns, " he said, referring to Malaysia's latest movement control order to control the spread of Covid-19.
Mr Mohd Farid said many orchard owners have cut their export plans and are focusing on delivering within Penang island.
"If possible, we might expand to include the mainland. But this will depend on our supply as we are already preparing stock for buyers within the island.
"In the north-east and south-west districts here, we plan to engage with representatives at residential areas and flats, " he said.
The representatives will help take orders from buyers in the residences.
"We will prepare the stock and pack them in containers for easy delivery.
"This way, we can ensure that we are able to sell. Other than that, we will engage food delivery services, " he added.