PLS Plantations set to ramp up durian sales to China

MORE durians are on the way to China. That’s what PLS Plantations Bhd has in mind as its subsidiary inked an export and distribution agreement with China’s largest food processor, manufacturer and trader.

Its subsidiary, Dulai Fruits Enterprise Sdn Bhd, has signed the agreement with COFCO Food Import Co Ltd, the import and distribution subsidiary of China Oil and Foodstuffs Corp (COFCO) in Shanghai.

COFCO is said to be a major agricultural and food industry player and a global agriproduct trader with a global footprint and a fully integrated value-chain.

This exclusive distribution agreement was inked after months of extensive engagements and evaluation by COFCO, said PLS Plantations in an exchange filing yesterday.

In the statement, COFCO Food Import vice GM Wu Yiran said China’s annual import value of fresh durian has increased more than threefold between 2017 and 2020.

He said that China’s customs figures show that the nation imported 822 million kg of durian in 2021, with an import value of US$4.2 billion (RM19.28 billion).

“With the local demand for fresh durian likely to continue increasing, we are pleased to finalise this exclusive distributorship agreement which this partnership will ensure a steady supply of fresh, high-quality fruit and products, specifically for unique varieties of durian that can only be grown in Malaysia, such as Musang King, Red Prawn and D24, to name a few,” he said.

Dulai Fruits has a track record in processing and exporting durian to China, including frozen durian products. It also has industry experience in cold chain logistics and warehousing, according to the statement.

PLS Plantations and COFCO are looking at an annual import volume of 200 million yuan (RM128.12 million) in all types of durians imported from Malaysia over the next three years, the statement added.

PLS Plantations and its subsidiaries are involved in the management and operation of forest, oil palm and durian plantations, as well as the processing, distribution and sales of durian products.

For the financial year ended June 30, 2022, PLS Plantations posted a net profit of RM27.31 million on RM184.05 million in turnover.

Its stock ended untraded at 80 sen yesterday, giving it a market capitalisation of RM320 million. The company is 73% owned by construction conglomerate Ekovest Bhd. — TMR