July 25, 2014 00:00
By Petchanet Pratruangkrai
To prevent the price of longan from dropping during the harvest season, the International Trade Promotion Department will join forces with Asean, Chinese and Indian traders to sell the fruit at their stores.
Director-general Nuntawan Sakuntanaga said yesterday that the department would work with the Agriculture Ministry to find markets for longan and other seasonal fruits in advance of their harvesting.
The department will run a marketing campaign for longan until September so that more output will be released overseas.
It will help expand trade opportunities for local longan farmers, located mainly in the North, by sending a trade mission to Indonesia, where local supermarkets will hold a “Thai Longan Festival” at 200 branches nationwide. It will promote longan sales in Myanmar, Laos (Vientiane), Vietnam (Hanoi) and Malaysia.
In China, which is the major overseas buyer of Thai longan, the department will organise 10 activities to promote the product in key cities such as in Shanghai, Kunming, Chengdu, Nanning, Xiamen and Hong Kong.
In India, many people like sweet fruits, so Thai longan has a great opportunity to grow in that market. The target cities there are Mumbai, Delhi and Chennai, which are commercial centres.
Last year, Thailand exported US$2.93 million (Bt93.25 million) worth of fruits to India. In the first four months of 2014, exports of Thai fruits to India surged 22 per cent to $1.47 million year on year.
Thailand shipped out 564,549 tonnes of fresh, dried and canned longan last year valued at $428 million.
In the first five months, exports of longan grew 5.2 per cent year on year. Mainland China was the destination for 51 per cent of outbound deliveries by volume, followed by Hong Kong with 16 per cent and Indonesia and Vietnam with 15 per cent each.