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China slowdown, El Nino cloud future for Thai durian exports

Deliveries to world's No. 2 economy surge due to China-Laos high-speed railway

Durian traders and exporters worry that dry conditions brought by the the El Nino weather pattern could curb output of the spiky-shelled fruit. (Photo by Takaki Kashiwabara)

BANGKOK -- Thai durian exports to China have surged since a high-speed rail link opened between neighboring Laos and the world's No. 2 economy, cutting delivery times and offering a fresh delivery route for the famously pungent fruit.

But an economic slowdown in China and the impact of the El Nino weather pattern on Southeast Asia are casting a shadow over the outlook for the sector.

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