Quarter of Flemish Flower Growers Increase Production Volume

Flemish flower growers have been more satisfied with the economic situation in the last 6 months. The expectations for the future also give hope of a similar level, according to the conjecture index for flower growers, which has increased from 77 to 88. A quarter of flower growers stated when asked that their production volume had increased. Lower energy prices are saving costs, but nearly two thirds think that the energy prices will increase again in the coming 6 months.

Agricultural Conjecture
In compiling the agricultural conjecture index, the Department for agriculture and fisheries, department for monitoring and study, have asked around 750 agriculturalists and horticulturalists about their business situation (production, prices, investments and limitations). Their answers have been extrapolated in relation to the total Flemish agricultural population on the basis of the most recent agricultural census. The index can vary between zero (all agriculturalists are extremely negative) to two hundred (all agriculturalists are extremely positive). In an index of 100, there are an equal number of positive and negative answers. 

Vegetables Under Glass
There is talk of the Russian sanctions, but because of increasing prices for vegetables grown under glass and the falling energy price, the Flemish indoor vegetable growers are extremely positive. The conjecture index is at 103 - just as high as the top index from the autumn of 2010. In addition, it is also the highest index of all the agricultural sectors. The index for this sector has strongly increased from 81 to 103. Both sub-indices (past and future) have climbed above 100. Almost half of the respondents said that the price of indoor grown vegetables has increased and 37% said that the energy price had fallen. Energy has become considerably cheaper since October. The relatively mild winter of 2015 has also been of assistance to glasshouse growers.

Because of the large diversity of horticultural products, it is not simple to give a clear declaration for the sector as a whole (figure 3). All horticultural sectors are improving considerably. To compensate for the Russian sanctions, horticulturalists could ask for extra European support for intervention and unharvested produce last autumn. The Russian sanctions are still in place, but these have been partially compensated for by finding new markets.

Source: Departement Landbouw en Visserij

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