Sales of plants going up undiminished

Hot summer pushes Dutch flower exports down 6%

The hot summer period has put pressure on the export value of Dutch flowers with a contraction of 6% in July. Plants were less affected and the exporting wholesale even managed to realize an increase of 4%, according to the export statistics from Floridata up to and including July. Plants do structurally better than flowers this year. For the first seven months the export counter is virtually at the same level of € 3.8 billion as last year. In view of the circumstances, a stable annual turnover is, according to the VGB, owing to the increased effort of the wholesale sector.

Plants better than flowers
After a difficult spring with a cold start, the market for indoor and garden plants has recovered well above expectations. As a result, the plants are doing better this year with an almost 3% higher sales value, while flowers are lagging behind by almost 2%. "After a cold start for the plants, a hot summer for the flowers. It marks the dependence on the weather, but also the quality and adaptability of Dutch wholesale to deal with this", VGB director Matthijs Mesken concludes.

The export value did not go up in any of the top 10 sales destinations for cut flowers in July. At almost the same volume, the sales value shrank due to lower prices per stem. Up to and including July, only Poland and Russia realized an increase in this market segment.

"Especially in riskier summer months you see that retailers are more restrained in their orders. This leads to a fragmentation in the buying and selling pattern", ascertains Aad van Duyn of P. van Dam. Mesken: "On the other hand, Dutch wholesale is able to respond to this market development thanks to, among other things, new communication technology."

In the retail segment expectations were not met, so that producers felt compelled to sell more via the auction clocks instead of via the direct lines. That resulted in a restless price picture.

Where the flowers performed positive in only two of the top 10 countries and the other eight are negative, the plants are the other way around: only in the United Kingdom and Sweden are plants lagging behind up to the end of July.
Export value at level
Because the shrinkage of the flowers is smaller than the growth of the indoor and garden plants, the total export value of € 3.8 billion is practically at the same level as last year. "And we are positive across the board. If the economy in general keeps performing, there will be sufficient growth opportunities. That is why we are also focusing to spread over more countries", according to Dennis de Boer, director of Hans Visser Flowers. The positive effect of market spread is also evident from the export statistics. The top 10 sales destinations - representing 80% of the export value – had a reduction of 1%, up to and including July. In the remaining countries, exporters recorded an increase of 4% which compensated the loss in the top 10 countries.

But the greater tension on the market is also evident by the fact that six of the top 10 countries are lagging behind up to the end of July. A year ago, that only applied to the United Kingdom. "And this year England is not even disappointing", Van Duyn points to the contraction of 3% to € 513 million, up to and including July. "But we look forward to Brexit with great anxiety. Will there be import tariffs? How will legislation be implemented? It is still all unknown."

The underlying statistics from Floridata also show that the growth of Russia of the last year and a half is slowing down. "The strain in the demand is therefore less. With the expected reduction of the demand from England after Brexit, the strain in the demand for flowers and plants in Europe will increase next year. So further commitment to branching out becomes even more important. That is why we also inform participants of Floridata with a new report on emerging markets. These markets are mainly in Asia and the Middle East," according to Van den Berg
source: VGB & Floridata

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