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Ethiopian rose grower John Magara, Roshanara Roses:

'Drop in auction prices red roses affects industry'

"The auction prices for roses were very good over the last weeks, but suddenly dropped this week, and particularly the prices for the reds", says John Magara of Roshanara Roses. He grows roses in a 15ha rose farm in Holeta, Ethiopia and sells directly to the Europe market. Even though, Roshanara is not on the auction, they feel this drop in price in the demand.

Lower prices
Over the last three weeks, the prices for roses at the Dutch auction were very good, according to Magara. However, they dropped this week. "I have heard that the prices of the red roses at the auction decreased by 50 percent, from 18 cents per stem to less than 10 cents per stem, and the other colored roses by 20 percent", he says.

"And if you see the prices drop at the auction, everyone in the rose industry is affected. Even your direct buyers will tell you to stop sending reds. They usually purchase both direct and via the auction so in this case, for example, they reduced their orders of red roses by about 20 to 30 percent."

High production from Kenya
According to Magara, the main reason for this drop is the increased supply of Kenyan roses to the auction. "After having some cold months, the weather in Kenya improved over the last weeks which resulted in a higher production and a flush of reds."

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