"The auction prices were about 7.7 percent lower and florists had about 25-35 percent less turnover", says Gilles Rus of Sica Flower Market when comparing this year's French Mother's Day (May 28, 2017) with that of last year. According to him, the main reason for this decrease was the combination of good weather and a public holiday on Thursday May 25.

Lower prices at auction
In the run-up to French Mother's Day, prices at this auction in the South of France were lower than last year. "On Monday and Tuesday, the prices were still OK. However, from Wednesday onwards, prices decreased and were 7.7 percent lower compared to last year", says Rus. The reason for this decrease in price seemed to be a lack of demand. "We sold almost the same amount of stems (2.3 million) compared to last year (2.6 million), but the prices were lower."

Lower sales for florists
For the florists, Mother's Day wasn't that great this year either. Last Monday, Rus spoke to several florists and they told him that their turnover for this year's Mother's Day was lower. "I talked to about 10 florists and they all told me that their turnover was significantly lower compared to last year - and in particular the turnover of the florists in the big cities like Paris and Lyon. On average, the turnover of the florists was about 25-35 percent lower.

Weather and public holiday
According to Rus, the main reason for this decrease was the combination of good weather and Ascension Day - a public holiday that was celebrated on May 25 this year. "Usually, this public holiday is not that close to Mother's Day. This year, many people decided to have a long (4 day) weekend and went to the beach - preferring to buy an ice cream instead of flowers", he laughs. Therefore, the florists, in particular the ones in the big cities, sold much less compared to last year. However, the internet sales did not seem to be affected that much. Rus heard that they were more or less stable.

Fewer French peonies for Mother's Day
French peonies are Sica's most important flowers, followed by roses including imported roses from Kenya, Ecuador and the Netherlands. Peonies are popular Mother's Day gifts, but this year 33 percent fewer peonies were offered on the Sica Flower Market. "Usually, the season runs from mid March till the end of May. So, during the French Mother's Day period, there are usually a lot less French peonies on the market. This year, however, there were even less as the French peony season was shorter", says Rus. Due to the good weather conditions in May, there were a lot of peonies in May and therefore not that many left the end of May. "This year for Mother's Day, 500,000 peonies were offered on the market instead of the 751,000 of last year."

Good peony season
But when looking at the entire peony season, Rus is very satisfied. "The volumes were higher than last year, over 60 percent. "Due to the good and cold weather conditions during winter, production increased. Instead of 6 million, we sold 10 million peony stems this season. In general, the prices were a bit lower, but in the end it was a more profitable season."

Sica Flower Market

Sica Marché aux fleurs
The Sica Marché aux fleurs was established in 1984 and is located in the main production area of cut flowers in France, in Hyères. Around 450 growers supply their flowers to the auction and 30 wholesalers are located on the auction. "These wholesalers represent 50 percent of Sica's turnover. The other 50% of the turnover is realized by 300 clients, wholesalers and florists. 14% of the turnover of Sica is exported to the Netherlands, Germany, Italy, Switzerland, USA and UK, mainly anemones, renonculas, tulips, greens, snapdragon and peonies."

For more information
Sica Marché aux fleurs
Gilles Rus
Email: grus@marcheauxfleurs.fr