DURIAN prices are higher during this year’s Kadayawan season due to poor harvest and bulk buying from Chinese buyers, according to fruit vendors on Tuesday, August 2, 2022.

Durian at the Bankerohan Public Market and Magsaysay Fruit Stand is averaging at P90 per kilogram (kg) and can be as high as P120/kg for premium varieties like the puyat. Other varieties, like muntong, are priced from P70/kg to P80/kg.

Vendors at Bankerohan Public Market and Magsaysay Fruit Stand said compared to previous years, the harvest of durian was earlier in June to July rather than the month of August, which is the harvest season Dabawenyos and tourists are accustomed to.

During the usual harvest season, prices of durian can go as low as P40/kg to P50/kg at Bankerohan Public Market and around P80/kg for premium variety at Magsaysay Fruit Stand.

“Dili steady, lahi na ang panahon karon sa Kadayawan kay nihit og prutas, dili pareha atong niagi, baga. Ulhos-ulhos man ang bunga karon, wala nagsabay (The supply is not steady. The Kadayawan season this year is different because the fruits are scarce unlike before, it was abundant. The trees did not flower at the same time),” Iris Mabilog, fruit stall owner at Bankerohan market, said.

The vendors also cited Chinese industrial plants that bulk-buy most of the durian harvest, further limiting the local supply.

“Ang mga prutas nato diri gina-loading naman nila. Ang mabilin sa atoa, mga pinilian na lang halos (Our fruits are being sold to them by bulk. The supply here becomes more limited),” Magsaysay vendor Reden Añora said.

Because of this, the vendors said they may have to further increase the prices in a few days or in the middle of August as supply of the fruit dwindles. They said another harvest is expected in September and by then, prices will go down.

“Kung kanusa mag Kadayawan, karon pa nisaka (The prices increasing now even though it’s Kadayawan),” fruit cart vendor Ives Cruz shared, referring to the previous years when low prices are the norm during Kadayawan.

In the past two years with the Covid-19 pandemic, the durian prices only increased last year while in 2020, the vendors said it was around P35/kg to P40/kg.

Despite this, the vendors remain optimistic that their durian will still sell despite the steep prices, saying their sales will probably come from tourists visiting for the Kadayawan festival. ICM