The price of durian has been slashed up to 50% as demand from China falls following the coronavirus outbreak
According to The Star, the prices of Musang King have dropped about 20% to 50% after cities in China are placed under lockdown.
Tan Chee Keat, a durian trader in Penang, said that Musang King, which is usually sold at RM55 per kg, is now priced between RM24 and RM33 per kg.
"We are facing a challenging time because of the (Covid-19) outbreak," said Tan.
"Our export order has dropped by 70% after Chinese New Year."
The phenomenon is similar over in Raub, Pahang - which is widely considered as the durian capital of Malaysia
Lim explained that China has yet to halt durian imports, but the process of transporting the thorny goods has been slowed down
"Many of the farmers in Raub and other parts of Malaysia have stopped processing durians to China because they don't want to take risks," he said, referring to the process of storing durians in nitrogen freezers while being shipped to China.
"What if the virus situation gets worse? We will have a lot of unwanted durians in cold storage."
He also explained that durians are normally eaten in a group during happy times, lamenting that the health fear spurred from the outbreak has put China nationals in "no mood" to enjoy the King of Fruits.
Many farmers are now looking for other ways to sell their oversupplied durians
"That's the nature of durian business, prices are volatile. We have to react quickly to sell our excess durians at lower prices," said Andy Tan, a durian farmer based in Segamat, Johor.
He added that he had received almost zero orders from China between late January to early February.
Out of Malaysia's total durian production, 6.8% is exported to foreign markets, reported Malay Mail.
Malaysia began exporting durians to China in May 2011.
Other than durians, hotels in Langkawi are also offering massive discount after being affected by the Covid-19 outbreak: