Thailand exports 500 tons of durians to China via China-Laos Railway for the first time
Published: Apr 25, 2022 09:53 AM
A man transports newly-picked durians in Chanthaburi Province, Thailand, May 20, 2020. Photo:Xinhua

A man transports newly-picked durians in Chanthaburi Province, Thailand, May 20, 2020. Photo:Xinhua

Thailand transported 500 tons of durian to China through the China-Laos Railway for the first time on Sunday, a Thai official said. 

Cross-border rail transport has started a new era for Thai fruit exports, Alongkorn Pollabutr, advisor to the Minister of the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives, said on Sunday, reported. 

The durians were shipped from the eastern Thai province of Chanthaburi, filling 27 containers. Disinfection and COVID-19 tests for local factories that packaged the durians were conducted on April 22 to ensure the safety of the products. 

A total of 40 tons of durian and 20 tons of coconut were sent to China via the China-Laos Railway at the beginning of April in a test run, according to Pollabutr, adding that more durian will be exported to China in the coming weeks.

In 2021, China was Thailand's top export destination for its durian, with a total value of $3.14 billion, representing year-on-year growth of 108.08 percent, official data from the Thai Ministry of Commerce revealed. 

The import value and volume of China's fresh durians last year reached $4.21 billion and 821,500 tons respectively, up 82.4 percent in value from 2020 and 42.7 percent in volume, data from Chinese customs showed.

China's trade with Thailand has been boosted with enhanced logistics by the successful operation of the China-Laos Railway.

Cargo transported from Southwest China's Chongqing city successfully arrived in Rayong, Thailand, through the rail line on April 23, after the train departed from Chonburi to Chongqing on March 25. The completion of the shipment showed that cargo can be directly sent from Chongqing to Thailand through the railway without road transition in Laos, which has reduced logistics costs and improved efficiency. 

As of April 20, the China-Laos Railway had carried more than 2.5 million passengers and transported over 2.45 million tons of goods, data from China Railway Kunming Group showed. 

Although the prospect of transporting durian via the China-Laos Railway is bright, local traders face some challenges and uncertainties. 

For instance, rail transportation takes longer than the traditional road logistics. It would be more competitive if the delivery time was shortened to within 20 hours from four to five days, compared with the mature road and sea transportation process, according to a report from Thai news outlet 

Thailand sent its first shipment of agricultural products to China through Laos in January 2022, using a train loaded with 1,000 tons of glutinous rice from Nong Khai Province in northeastern Thailand to Chongqing. 

Global Times