After Mother Nature made 2018 a challenging year for many South African growers, Afrex Trading - one of the leading exporters of Cape Flora and other South African flowers – are very pleased with the supply, demand and sales of this year so far. "It surpassed our expectations", according to Lee Sarah Julius and Jill Swart.
In 2018, there was a severe drought in the Cape Region, explains Lee Sarah. This, coupled with many fires, destroyed large areas of natural and cultivated flowers. The water shortage not only had an impact on the availability of some products, but also the stem lengths of the products, which deviated from the norm.
Fortunately, this year there has been no drought, and Afrex are really pleased with the early supply of a number of products. "For the Wax Flowers and Leucospermum, for example, the season started earlier." Another product that stood out so far this year is the increased demand for Eucalyptus.
From left to right: Jill Swart, Denver Maloka, and Lee Sarah Julius
Wax flower - Early season and high demand
Besides the earlier start of the season, the demand for Wax Flowers is also higher than in previous years. "We have seen a steady supply of good quality Wax Flowers of many varieties, and the supply will continue until the end of October, which growers predict to remain steady."
Leucospermum - Early season and better sizes
Also for Leucospermum (Pin Cushion), the season started earlier this year, firstly from the north of South Africa and recently the season started in the Western Cape. "Product availability is picking up fast, commencing with the red Pin Cushion (Tango and Rigoletto). "And stem lengths have improved compared to last year as well. "Last year due to the severe water shortages, the length of the Pin Cushion was short and product was limited. This year we are pleased that we can provide longer lengths and more product. Also for this product, growers are forecasting a good season with good quality products."
Eucalyptus - High demand
This year they have also seen an increase in demand for Eucalyptus. "We had to schedule weekly planning meetings with growers in order to meet the demands from our different customers. Fortunately, our client base in Europe, USA, the Middle East and Far East demand different varieties Eucalyptus, which enables us to keep everyone happy."