December 28, 2022
GEORGE TOWN – It’s the right time to eat like a king now where “high-end” durians are concerned.
A kilo of Musang King, for example, is being sold for RM30 to RM45 per kilo, compared with last year’s price of RM80 to RM90 a kg.
And the wondrous, bittersweet XO variant, not commonly grown in Penang, is selling for as low as RM20 per kilo.
Previously, the price could go up to RM80 to RM100 during its peak season.
Penang’s durian season is typically from May to August.
Most of the durians sold here now come from Perak or Pahang, which are among the states that enjoy a short year-end durian season that lasts till next month.
But even after being transported here, a kilo of Musang King, for example, is retailing for just RM30 to RM45 per kilo.
Durian seller Edward Lim, 30, said the durians are now cheap because of a bumper harvest in Pahang orchards.
“We get some from Tapah in Perak too, but the most popular ones are from Raub (Pahang),” said Lim, 30.
He said Pahang’s durian season started about two months ago and is expected to continue until the end of January.
The “lower grades” of Musang King, he said, cost about RM30 per kilo.
“And the same goes for other popular variants such as Teik Kah and Black Thorn.
“We are told that the lower price is also due to lower demand from China, which has been facing pandemic lockdowns and restrictions until recently,” he said.
Another durian seller, who only wanted to be known as Goh, said he is selling a kilo of top grade Musang King by the roadside near Pulau Tikus market at RM45 per kilo.
“This is considered very cheap. Everyone who hasn’t tried Musang King because it’s expensive should really try now,” he said.
Durian farmer Nasir Sulaiman, 45, said the bumper crop of durian in Pahang is probably due to a change in the weather in the southern part of the peninsula.
“In April, the region experienced a bit of rain but through May and June, the weather was hot, which caused durian trees in Pahang to flower in abundance,” he said.
He said there are Musang King from Ipoh and central Perak, but those from Pahang are preferred because they are sweeter.
He hoped that durian prices would go up next year when durian fans, especially those from China, make a return following the easing of travel restrictions.
Incidentally, even the King and Queen took the chance to check out some durian stalls in Sungai Karang, Kuantan, last Sunday.
Istana Negara said in a Facebook post that Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah and Raja Permaisuri Agong Tunku Hajah Azizah Aminah Maimunah Iskandariah spent some time with the traders and chatted with visitors.
“His Majesty bought a meal as well as durian before departing for Abdulaziz Palace,” the post stated.