PETALING JAYA: The durian craze may be hitting China, but outgoing envoy to Malaysia Huang Huikang says responsibility for the hike in prices should not be laid solely on the demand from his country.

In a report by China Press, Huang said he himself did not even like durians.

“I have high sugar levels,” he quipped.

“My doctor said that even if I liked durian, I can’t have it.”

The durian, fondly known as the King of Fruits, has been met with enthusiastic response from Chinese citizens, with products such as durian-flavoured ice-cream and coffee making waves at trade fairs in the country.

In July, the Federal Agricultural Marketing Authority (Fama) said the export of durians to China was set to increase following high demand for the fruit.

Fama director-general Ahmad Ishak said the export of Musang King durians last year had surged to RM60 million compared with RM33 million in the previous year.

He added that Fama was targeting RM70 million in durian exports to China.

“We expect exports to China to increase 10% by the end of this year,” he said.

The ministry of agriculture and agro-based industry meanwhile said in September that durians from Malaysia were expected to be directly exported to China in one or two years’ time.

Minister Ahmad Shabery Cheek said the Malaysian government would strive to obtain the protocol and agreement from China so Malaysia could export unprocessed durians to their country.

He also joked that Malaysia-China relations should be referred to as “durian diplomacy”.

One Musang King durian is sold for about RM800 in Hong Kong while one kilogramme of the fruit can fetch RM200 in China.

According to the China Press, Chinese citizens owned some 121 hectares of durian orchards in Malaysia through local collaboration as of June.-fmt news-

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