Smaller harvest due to rainy spell in December and January, says Malaysian trader

Malaysian durian trader Lim Beng Choo attending to customers at her stall.
Malaysian durian trader Lim Beng Choo attending to customers at her stall. PHOTO: THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

GEORGE TOWN (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - It's the durian season now but there are fewer stalls selling the King of Fruits this year, a far cry from previous years when the stalls would mushroom in practically every nook and corner.

Durian trader Lim Beng Choo, 42, said the supply of the fruits had fallen by about 50% compared to last year due to the weather.

"There were too many rainy days in December and January. This was not good for durians.

"The fruit requires hot weather to flower and bear fruit.

"The demand for durians this year will be higher than the supply.

"Hence, the prices of the durians have increased," she said when met at her stall in Macalister Road yesterday.

Her husband Tan Eow Chong was the winner of the state Durian King title in 2001.

The family operate the Durian Cap Kaki stall in Relau and they have several orchards in Balik Pulau, Teluk Bahang, Teluk Kumbar and Sungai Ara.

Lim said the supply might increase from August to October when traders bring in durians from Perak and Pahang.

"The durian trees in Perak and Pahang usually bear fruits later than the trees in Penang. So the prices may be cheaper in August," she said.

Lim said that while the locals prefer Ang Heh, Hor Lor and Kunpoh, tourists still opt for Black Thorn and Musang King.

"Some traders are selling Black Thorn or Musang King between RM80 and RM85 per kg now.

"The Hor Lor, which was selling at RM20 (S$6.40) to RM30 per kg last season, now costs RM50 to RM60 per kg," she said.