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Russia: Growers see shift in demand

Russia has been in a crisis for about 2,5 years now. The ruble almost halved in value which makes imported products expensive. This also counts for flowers as the majority is being imported. So, a low price is an important requirement at the moment. And as some flower prices cannot be lowered further, the Russians are adjusting their demands.

Before the crisis, a long stem and large head were the main requirement of the Russian buyers regarding the rose, one of the most demanded flowers in Russia. As the South American roses are able to meet these requirements, they were and still are very beloved. However they are expensive. Due to the crisis these growers dropped their prices significantly, and some even halved, but they remain expensive. As the importance of price sometimes overtakes the importance of their traditional requirements, some buyers decide to buy cheaper flowers that often have shorter stems and head sizes from Kenya or the Netherlands.

And the same trend counts for other ornamentals, like orchids. According to a Dutch orchid grower, the Russians used to choose large 70 cm orchids with three branches and a minimum of 18 buds. Now, they often go for the more basic 50 and 60 cm orchids with one or two branches.

It is all the consequence of the weak exchange rate of the Ruble. Russia is a flower loving country. They still buy flowers, but as they are so expensive, they choose to adjust their requirements.

However, the majority of the exhibitors at the FlowersExpo are sure that when the situation improves and the Ruble strengthens again, they will start buying their 'old and beloved' large flowers again.

Yesterday was the final day of the FlowersExpo. FloralDaily was at the show to make a full photo report, that will be published on Monday September 19, but below you can already have a sneak peak.

Jorge Ortega of Matina Flowers. According to Jorge, the market is still low. They used to send 40 percent of their production to Russia, now only 10 percent. "The clients are changing their preferences and starting to buy roses from the African countries and Holland." However, the crisis also brought something good as it forced them to enter new markets. They are now selling flowers in China, for example.

Taisiya Kravchenko of Florisol. According to Kravchenko, the prices are still low and it is difficult to push the prices back up. The people are now more used to the situation. They still buy flowers, but less or other flowers.

Görjan Basjes of Kordes roses and one of the team who is representing the Red Eagle with her wings. At their booth the Red Eagle takes a center stage. It is a new variety that is now being introduced to the Russian market. Basjes has high expectations of this rose on the Russian market.

Anat Moshes of Danziger presenting their new Cosmic flower along with more varieties. According to Anat, the Cosmic flower is more white than the existing and popular Xlence.