Thai fruits exported to China in bulk amid pandemic
Amid the Covid-19 pandemic that inflicts economy worldwide, 66.94% of the Thai durian exports went to China in the first quarter, according to data from the Thai Ministry of Commerce. Orders from China boosted confidence of Thais during days of economic gloom.
"Thanks to strong demand from China, Thail fruit exports are expected to grow by 10 percent this year,” said Paiboon Wongchotesathit, president of Thai Fresh Fruit Traders & Exporters Association.
Lying 200 kilometers southeast of Bangkok, Chanthaburi is a top producer of quality longan in Thailand. Now, the China Golden Fruit company has presence in Chanthaburi, purchasing fresh fruits from local farmers. And the longan packages are usually shipped on the same day.
Joining hands with locals, Golden Fruit has grown to be the largest Longan trader in east Thailand, selling around 100,000 tons of the fruit to China, Singapore and others annually.
The fruit company hired around 4,000 workers in the picking season, most of whom are migrants closely monitored by local authorities in the Covid-19 outbreak. “All wore the face masks, and we tested their temperatures and disinfected the working sites regularly,” said Rao Zhigang, production manager at the fruit business.
Workers have confidence in the company. “During the Covid-19 outbreak, none of us was infected and we got paid as usual,” said a Cambodian at the company. Given the pandemic has caused many to lose their jobs, the Cambodians said they are lucky, adding “the company cares about our health”.
A longan business owner in Chanthaburi said he worried about fruit sales, but things worked out well. Chinese companies signed contracts with him on fair prices.
While a durian famer suggested most of durian orders this year came from China. “Chinese purchasers and companies ordered our fruits in bulk, and we lived on that,” said the Thai farmer.
To import more fruits from Thailand, another two land ports of Pingxiang and Dongxing in Guangxi has been added to the list for international fruit trade.
A friend in need is a friend indeed. “The outbreak of Covid-19 hit the economy hard, but Chinese companies joined hands with the Thai fruit farmers in face of the pandemic,” said Thamanat Prompow, deputy minister of Thai Agriculture and Cooperatives.
Source: People’s Daily; trans-editing by Li Yushuangyue and Wang Shixue