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But let's not cheer too soon

Positive vibe in European Mother's Day market

"The numbers are significantly higher than last year, but the price is proportionally a bit lower. Last week (week 17) 15.500 carts were brought in. In 2015 (then week 18) this was 13.000 carts, so 2500 less. Last Monday there were 5000 carts, Tuesday 4000." That is according to VGB market specialist Koos van Der Meij. This Sunday, Mother's Day will be celebrated in several European countries.

According to Van der Meij several traders are happy about the number of orders and the offer is also good. The demand from Germany is also better than last year. So there is optimism but it’s still too early to cheer. "There won’t be any auctioning on Thursday so it all comes down to tomorrow. Everyone’s wondering and calculating: who supplies what and when. A lot of supply is expected tomorrow, which could mean that the prices drop some more. However, if the offer is not much more than usual then it will probably be extra busy on Friday. That is not necessarily good news, for the same reason, especially since it will be a bit late in the game by then. And if the weather is as good as is being expected, there’s a chance people won’t bother with flowers at all."

Traditionally prices rise less with Mother’s Day than with Valentine's. Then there is great demand for a product that is qualitatively at its worst at that moment and everyone pays top dollar. The season starts with Mother’s Day so there is a lot of supply and prices are less extravagant - although the cold run-up this year might raise them a bit.

Many carts means big crowds, like here at the Winter Logistics (photo: Peter Janssen)

Overtime in gerberas
One 'thing' this year has been last week’s cold weather. This has resulted in a small hiccup with gerberas. Ruud Batist, a gerbera grower from Maasdijk who’s happy to be working overtime these days: "With gerberas the light-heat ratio is crucial. Because of the nice weather the week before last we had to do a lot of heating last week to maintain the temperature level in the greenhouse. We do a lot of direct trading and supply a couple of big retailers like Aldi and Lidl. Germany, where it will also be Mother's Day come Sunday, is also a large market for us and the demand from there is high. So we’re very happy about business at the moment."

Production is in full swing at Batist

No chrysanthemum peak
It’s a good week for chrysanthemums, but there’s no real Mother's Day peak to speak of. "In the Netherlands and Belgium the chrysanthemum is not so popular for Mother's Day. Also, our sales are more focused on England and Russia, "says Wouter Duijvesteijn from Beyond Chrysant. "They have other holidays there." Still, the prices are good this week. "White is currently doing a bit better than yellow. It could be Russian Easter, it could be Mother's Day - but chrysanthemum pricing remains somewhat elusive despite being able to steer supply."

A peak inside at Beyond Chrysant

The recent sudden spring weather has resulted in an acceleration in cultivation. "The weather’s been good the last two days and will remain so in the coming days. Then it goes quickly." Still, it’s a relatively normal week for the grower. "Nice production, nice prices - but still not very good. We expect the next peak at the end of the school year, when children in Russia bring flowers for the teacher. That’s the kind of day we want to focus on."

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