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Business trends

Thai exports of 'the king of fruits' surge to China

Online commerce and better road networks feed growing durian demand

A man chops durians from a tree
A man chops durians from a tree several meters in height. (Photo by Takaki Kashiwabara)

BANGKOK -- The durian, known by many in Southeast Asia as the "king of fruits," is currently in season, and its powerful odor emanates from street vendors and hangs over Bangkok. But domestic consumption is actually on the decline, while exports rise sharply -- especially to China.

Thailand's durian exports have grown to five times the level of domestic consumption due to dramatic economic changes in Asia. These include improvements in cross-border transport networks and the rise of internet commerce that directly connects producing countries with consuming ones.

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