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Christian Schwartz, Gartneriet Rønbæk

Europe: Phalaenopsis growers at a loss what to do

"Usually, Christmas time is quite good for phalaenopsis sales, but this year it is worse than ever", says Danish phalaenopsis grower Christian Schwartz of Gartneriet Rønbæk. According to him, there is no demand for phalaenopsis in Europe and growers are at a loss on what to do.

Low demand
"November and December 2017 have been the worst months we have ever had. Even in summer time it has not been that bad", says Schwartz. And the lack of demand is what's making it so tough. "There are so many phalaenopsis on the market now." Schwartz has no clue what could be the reason. "There is one Dutch grower, who completely shifted to the production of only white phalaenopsis, and in this color there is an oversupply. However, I doubt if this is the reason."

Low prices
As the market is flooded with phalaenopis, the prices have plummeted and particularly those of the 12 cm phalaenopsis, that Gartneriet Rønbæk mainly sells in Norway, Sweden and Denmark together with their 9 cm. "The prices of our 6 cm, that we mainly export to the Netherlands and Germany, are quite OK, the 9 cm are a bit pressed, but the 12 cm are suffering the most." According to Schwartz, they had to lower their prices by at least 30 percent. "And still, there is no demand."

Electricity bill, Smaller farm
Growing phalaenopsis in Denmark is quite expensive as these plants require a lot of energy and the energy costs are high, a lot higher than in the Netherlands, where many phalaenopsis growers are based. So, lowering the prices of their plants is not that easy for Gartneriet Rønbæk. However, according to Schwartz, the only advantage they might have over other Dutch growers is he fact that they do not have such a large and automated company as many Dutch growers have. Gartneriet Rønbæk grows phalaenopsis in a 2ha greenhouse in Hinnerup, nearby Aarhus. "Large growers with many automation need to sell their plants quickly as they need to reach a certain production volume. We, I think, might be more able to wait a week or two and see if the prices go up."

For more information
Gartneriet Rønbæk
Christian H. Schwartz

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